STORE SPACES

Nordstrom debuts service-focused store with no inventory

BY Marianne Wilson

As retailers consider how to best use their physical spaces in a digital world, Nordstrom is going "local," debuting a small-format retail concept that offers all sorts of personal services, but has no dedicated inventory.

The department store giant will unveil Nordstrom Local on Oct. 3, in West Hollywood, Calif. With a 3,000-sq.-ft. footprint, the new format is much smaller than an average 140,000-sq.ft. Nordstrom. It will offer such services as on-site tailoring, manicures, buy-online-pick-up in store, and easy returns. It will even boast a beverage bar.

In addition, customers will be able to consult with “personal stylists,” making an appointment online, over the phone or in person to take advantage of the free service. Along with giving styling tips, the associates can transfer requested merchandise from Nordstrom stores (or its website) to Nordstrom Local for shoppers.The rooms surround a central meeting space where customers can sit and chat with a stylist.

"As the retail landscape continues to transform at an unprecedented pace, the one thing we know that remains constant is that customers continue to value great service, speed and convenience," said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom senior VP of customer experience who led the Nordstrom Local initiative. "We know there are more and more demands on a customer's time and we wanted to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their shopping needs. Finding new ways to engage with customers on their terms is more important to us now than ever."

The full list of services available at Nordstrom Local includes:

• Personal stylists;

• Alterations, with on-site tailors available;

• Manicure services;

• Same-day delivery for completed alterations or purchases, with items ordered by 2 p.m. delivered directly to a customer's home on the same day;

• Buy online, pick-up in store, with items ordered before 2 p.m. available for pick-up on the same day;

• Curbside pickup for items that are altered or for buy online, pick-up in-store orders;

• Customers can meet a Trunk Club Stylist, or pick up and/or return a trunk. On-site tailors will help customers select the right fabrics or create a Trunk Club Custom garment that suits their needs; and

• Refreshments, with a full-beverage menu that includes beer, wine, juices and coffee.

In addition, Nordstrom Local will debut "Style Boards,” is a new tool that allows salespeople and personal stylists to create digital boards filled with personalized fashion recommendations, which customers can view on their phone and purchase directly through Nordstrom.com. Customers can get the advice of a salesperson or personal stylist by having a conversation with them through the app.

Nordstrom Local is located at 8401 Melrose Place, on the corner of Melrose Place and Melrose.

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Muji continues U.S. store expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

A Japanese lifestyle brand with a devoted following has opened an outpost in one of New York City’s most hip neighborhoods that will serve as a model for future expansion.

Muji has opened a 7,300-sq.-ft. store in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It is the retailer’s seventh store in the greater New York City area. In addition to New York, Muji has six locations in California, one in New Jersey and one in Boston. It plans to add more U.S. stores next year.

The new store carries Muji’s full lineup of minimalist products, including apparel, kitchenware, tableware, furniture, interior and storage accessories, stationery, skincare and travel items. It also features a number of added services including an embroidery station that allows customers to customize textile items with a selection of over 300 embroidered designs; a complimentary gift-wrapping station that seals paper packages with stitching; and a free stamp station where customers can accent their purchased paper goods with various symbols.

In addition, Muji will collaborate with local artists and artisans on upcoming projects that pay homage to Brooklyn’s creative scene and connect with the diverse families that inhabit it.

Muji was founded in Japan in 1980 and now has over 400 stores in Japan. It opened its first store outside Japan in 1991, in London, adding over 400 global locations since then. The Muji name derives from the company’s original name in Japanese: Mujirushi Ryohin, meaning “No Brand, Quality Goods.”

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One Kings Lane puts down physical roots

BY Marianne Wilson

Online home furnishings and decor retailer One Kings Lane is making its temporary foray into brick-and-mortar retail more permanent.

The retailer opened its first-ever physical location, a seasonal pop-up in the posh resort town of Southampton, New York, at the beginning of summer. But the company said the response to the temporary store was so positive that it has decided to make it a permanent space.

The 3,500-sq.-ft. store is located in a 19th century building that once housed a library. The space is designed to offer an “immersive lifestyle experience,” the company said, and offers a curated selection of product, including one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.

The store will continue to feature a "living" assortment of product that is regularly refreshed as items sell out, with a major redesign of the floor space slated for the fall. The brand’s signature complimentary design services, available in-home or in-store, will remain a year-round offering

One Kings Lane was acquired by Bed, Bath & Beyond in summer 2016.

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