Nordstrom waited decades to expand in Manhattan, but now it’s making up for lost time. The upscale department store chain introduced its men’s store last year and is opening a seven-story flagship store this fall. And Nordstrom has more planned for New York City. In September, it will open two small outposts in New York as part of its new Nordstrom Local chain, the retailer announced Wednesday. The two smaller stores will not carry merchandise. Rather, they will be hubs for online pickups and returns, as well as services like tailoring and personal styling. New York City is Nordstrom's biggest market for online sales, but its physical presence has largely been limited to its Nordstrom Rack discount chain. By the end of 2019, there will be six Nordstrom locations in Manhattan: the flagship; the men’s store; two Nordstrom Racks; and the two Local hubs.
Total Retail's Take: New York represents one of Nordstrom's top markets, and the retail chain is seeking to capitalize on that concentration of customers with its full array of brick-and-mortar concepts, from flagship to discount, and it's most recent format, Local stores. Since introducing its Local stores nearly two years ago in Los Angeles, Nordstrom has collected data that shows customers who visited a Local spent on average two-and-a-half times what other Nordstrom shoppers did and made returns earlier, which allows the retailer to turn its inventory faster. An inventory-free store was a drastic move by Nordstrom, but the company is seemingly happy with the results from its early Local stores. The stores are a valuable resource for local customers, and represent the changing nature of today's retail world, one in which services and experiences are highly valued by consumers. Nordstrom is investing not only in New York, but in omnichannel retail services as well.