The opening of Nordstrom Local in West Hollywood, California, on October 3, is a visionary move, responding to the demanding consumer youth culture. Boldly innovative and counter-intuitive, there is no merchandise in store. It is a small (3000 square-feet), fun, personalized experience. It is compelling as a quick-and-easy neighborhood destination where you can enjoy a full beverage menu including California-sourced beer and wine, cold-pressed juices from Pressed Juicery and crafted espresso drinks from Nordstrom’s Ebar. Oh, yes, you can also get a manicure.
While enjoying a beverage, customers can lounge comfortably in a meeting space where they can chat with their Personal Stylist experts, who, equipped with digital “Style Boards,” can create personalized fashion recommendations, which shoppers can view on their phones and purchase directly through Nordstrom.com. Alternatively, the Stylist can find the items in other local Nordstrom stores and have them delivered to the customer’s home on the same day — if ordered before 2:00 PM. The Personal Stylists can also interact with the customer, wherever they may be, and provide fashion advice through a Nordstrom Local app.
A Nordstrom Personal Stylist can help customers with everything from fashion advice and a whole new wardrobe, to finding the perfect gift for any budget. Customers can make an appointment with a Stylist online, over the phone or in person. The Local is designed to be a fast, fun, zero-pressure and frictionless experience.
If the customer pre-orders online, they can either pick-up curbside or come into the store and try on the items in one of the eight dressing rooms surrounding the styling suite. If in need of alterations, a tailor is on hand.
This is also a destination where a customer can meet a Trunk Club Stylist, pick up or return a Trunk. Expert tailors can also help customers select the right fabrics or create a Trunk Club Custom garment.
Customers will also be able to make returns from Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com and Trunk Club.
Another Omnichannel Advantage
From the beginning of the meteoric rise of Amazon and the thousands of Amazon wannabe e-commerce pure plays, I have said that the legacy, traditional retailers have an inherent major advantage. They have the ability to build a synergistic online/offline model, more quickly and easily than Amazon and the e-players can open brick-and mortar-stores, which Amazon and the others know they must do. And indeed, legacy players like Nordstrom are finding the synergy of BOPUS yields a three-to-four time sales bump vs. an online sale.
However, the other necessity for legacy retailers to optimize their omnichannel advantage and synergy is the challenge of converting those big buildings, piled high with stuff (which is a customer turn-off), to compelling personalized, experiential destinations.
You can call it back to the future, moms and pops, places of entertainment, palaces of consumption (as they called department stores in the 19th century), or whatever. You make the call. You pick it. Because, if you are going to survive as a brick-and mortar-retailer in the future, you must convert your space into something that can be described as any of those environments I just mentioned.
This move by Nordstrom to launch Nordstrom Local is proof that confirms to me that the Nordstroms get it.
Bravo Nordstroms! Once again, you are leading the pack.