Over on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place in Los Angeles mannequins in avant-garde window displays beg you to come in and peruse the new offerings. A dress here, a bag there, and across the way is a store with an entirely new concept-one with no merchandise. And who would the purveyor be of such an idea? Nordstrom.
The retail giant has just launched their new Nordstrom Local store. In fact, it is not so much a store as a service hub. In it customers can: buy online and pick up at Local, make returns, have curbside pick-up, get alterations and tailoring, personal styling, get custom suits and get a manicure. This is in direct contrast to the new revamped Nordstrom at the Westfield Century City. That store has expanded to include a Nike boutique, MAC make-up studio and a Style Bar with personal styling.
But, that is exactly the point of Nordstrom Local. It is meant to be a liaison between Nordstrom department stores. Shea Jensen, SVP of Customer Experience explained to Fashionista,
“I think about customers on their way to an evening event; they might need to get their jacket steamed,” says. “I think about customers who might be on their way to their high school reunion but they need some hosiery, so they can buy that online and choose to pick it up here. I think about customers who don’t want to shop a massive array of inventory in a store, but love to shop with our people, so they can work with a sales person/personal stylist here — or someone who just wants to walk down the street and get a manicure, so we have that.”
This comes at a very important time in retail in which customers want convenience and an experience that goes beyond that of the traditional model. She continues,
“As the retail environment is changing at what seems to be an unprecedented pace, we’re hearing from our customers that services matter, so we’re looking for ways to bring great services,” notes Jenson. “We’re open to finding out from customers right here what they want more of or less of but this is definitely our first step.”
It is here that Nordstrom is hoping to be of service to their guests in a way they haven’t before. Through this they intend to develop relationships with their customers and vice versa. Through personalization they are taking a leap into the new realm of retail. Now we’ll just have to see who will follow them.