How Retail Giants Like Nordstrom Are Combating The Retail Apocalypse

Published on August 2, 2019

Why would you ever want to drive to a busy mall and spend your valuable time shopping in-store when you can do it online, and pick it up as you please? This is a reality that many brick and mortar retailers are having to come to terms with as the digital age makes ease of access to online shopping more convenient—and fun—than dealing with crowds in a bustling store. Experts have called it the retail apocalypse, adding shopping malls and department stores to a long list of things that millennials have ruined (alongside beer, patriotism, and Applebee’s). Today, retail stores are being forced to find new ways to acclimate or risk dying off. Nordstrom and Walmart have opted to do the former.

Nordstrom Opens Nordstrom Local

To counter the loss in in-store sales and encourage customers to spend more online, the department store giant Nordstrom opened a new concept store in Los Angeles’ Melrose shopping district in October of 2018. The new store carries no merchandise, and instead serves strictly as a pickup location for online orders where customers can come, hang out, grab a drink, and make changes to their products in their free time. The shopping experience at Nordstrom Local begins at home (or work, lets be realistic) where customers order products to be picked up later. At the store, which is more reminiscent of a WeWork than a department store, customers can come relax as they pick up their order. An in-store seamstress can make changes and personalizations to products, or fit customers to their clothes before they buy.

The 3,000 square foot space on Melrose offers a wide variety of services that other Nordstrom stores previously have not. A team of online personal stylists help customers pick and choose pieces they want to try on at their leisure. Customers then come into the Nordstrom Local storefront to try on the curated products or make a purchase. Plus, they can pick up other orders they’ve put in online already. The purpose of the store is to make customers feel as if the experience is more personal, where employees are there to get to know them individually and curate an experience based on their needs and tastes. Since the personal stylist service is mostly online, its perfect for shy millennials that would rather chat with a stranger than make a phone call.

Expansions In Major Cities

Nordstrom launched its first Nordstrom Local on Melrose in 2018 to see how consumers would respond to the new bespoke services. Now, nearly a year later, the company has announced that it will open two more Nordstrom Local stores in Los Angeles, with plans to expand in New York City in the future. The company feels that the model meets in the middle of brick and mortar and online shopping. Many of Nordstrom’s products come with higher price tags. So this lets consumers enjoy the freedom of online shopping with in-store perks. The new Nordstrom Local locations will be opening in Brentwood and Downtown. Two stores will also be opening in Manhattan after that.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

Read more

More GD News