Nordstrom to expand footprint in Manhattan with its ‘local’ concept

Nordstrom is doubling down on its no-inventory store format.

The department store retailer is bringing its Nordstrom Local format to Manhattan this fall, opening a location at The Greenwich Lane in the West Village and another on the Upper East Side. The stores, described as “neighborhood service hubs,” will join Nordstrom’s expanding Big Apple presence, which includes a men’s store, Nordstrom Rack and a 320,000-sq.-ft. flagship due to open in October, representing the latest iteration of Nordstrom's “local market” strategy.

The Nordstrom Local locations in Manhattan will offer online order pick-up, alterations and tailoring, personal styling and other services that reflect the unique needs of customers who live and work in the surrounding neighborhoods. The outposts will also offer events for members of Nordstrom’s loyalty club (Nordy Club) and the general public.

Nordstrom Local debuted in October 2017, in Los Angeles. Two additional LA locations have since opened. Nordstrom Local is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Instead, each site is tailored to meet the needs of customers who live nearby. The downtown LA location, for example, offers an on-site concierge and shoe, handbag and luggage repair services in partnership with a local cobbler; the smaller Brentwood outpost is focused on styling and alterations. But all are alike that there is no store inventory. Instead, customers order online and can arrange to try on (and pick up) the goods at Nordstrom Local.

To ensure that the locations in Manhattan best serve local customers, Nordstrom said it will partner with customers in each neighborhood to understand what they would value most when Nordstrom Local opens its doors. The customers will play a critical role ahead of the opening in determining some of the services that will be offered in each location, the retailer said.

“NYC represents our largest online market and we know when we open physical stores it complements our online presence and increases sales," said Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores, Nordstrom. "Nordstrom Local, our neighborhood service hubs, are one component of our local market strategy which allows us to engage with customers through more convenient access to services such as buy online pick up in store, alterations and personal styling."

Similar to Los Angeles, the combination of Nordstrom's digital presence and each of its locations in New York City will enable the sharing of merchandise and services, creating greater convenience and more touch points for customers across the city, and contributing a meaningful sales lift for the market, the retailer said.

“We know our local market strategy is driving outsized market share gains in LA and increased product selection, delivery speed and convenience for those customers,” said Shea Jensen, senior vice president of customer experience. “Customers who visit Nordstrom Local spend two and a half times more on average, and we're excited to bring these neighborhood service hubs to New York."

In Los Angeles, Nordstrom Local has seen a demand for next day pick-up services, with 30% of all customer next-day pick-ups in the market being done in the three Nordstrom Local locations. Other popular services include alterations, curbside pick-up and more. Customers tend to be younger and shop more frequently than customers not visiting the sites.