Inventory-Free Local Stores Integral to Nordstrom's Growth Strategy
Nordstrom recently announced plans to open additional Nordstrom Local neighborhood hubs in Brentwood and in Downtown, Los Angeles this fall. The first Nordstrom Local test concept opened in October 2017 on Melrose in Los Angeles. Nordstrom Local is designed to offer customers access to their favorite Nordstrom services like on-site tailoring and alterations; curbside pickup; buy online, pick up in-store; easy returns; and more, in a convenient, neighborhood location. What's unique about the Local stores is that they don't carry inventory.
Total Retail interviewed Shea Jensen, senior vice president of customer experience at Nordstrom, to learn more about the company's growth plans, and how the Local store concept fits into them.
Total Retail: What differentiates Nordstrom Local stores from the company's other brick-and-mortar locations?
Shea Jensen: Our Nordstrom Local stores serve as a neighborhood service hub for our customers. Nordstrom Local provides easy and local access to Nordstrom services such as personal styling, alterations and tailoring, and online order pickup.
TR: Why the focus on services at Nordstrom Local stores rather than product?
SJ: Speed and conveniences are the greatest luxuries for modern customers. We know that increasingly there are more demands than ever before on our customer’s time. To help better serve our customers, we built Nordstrom Local to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their needs. In fact, the majority of our customers for our Melrose location live less than three miles from the store.
TR: Why has Nordstrom chosen to expand its Local concept in Los Angeles? What is it about that market that makes you think it will be successful there?
SJ: With 4 million customers in Los Angeles, it's one of our largest and most engaged markets. Nordstrom Local is part of our local market strategy, where we’ve combined the scale of our national infrastructure with our people, product and place designed to re-imagine the shopping experience. This approach allows us to better engage customers and ultimately increase market share by giving customers what they've told us they want: better and more convenient services and access to more products.
TR: How is Nordstrom working to connect online and offline shopping experiences? What are the challenges in doing so, and what are some of the solutions that Nordstrom has put in place to overcome those challenges?
SJ: We're always looking for ways to enhance our customer’s experience, whether it’s in-store or online. We take a test-and-learn approach using our customer feedback to influence our decisions. This feedback allows us to invest in providing an updated shopping experience that makes it easy for customers to access our services and shop on their terms, regardless of the channel.
TR: What are Nordstrom's plans for growing its Local store format? Will it be expanded to other markets in addition to L.A.? If so, what cities are being targeted?
SJ: While we don’t have any additional locations to announce at this time, our customers’ feedback helps influence and guide our journey. We’re excited to introduce these two new stores to Brentwood and Downtown Los Angeles, and are looking forward to providing services in these neighborhood hubs and learning from these new locations.