The Reinvention of Department Stores: Nordstrom in New York
By Erica and Karen
Nordstrom is coming to New York (Broadway between 57th and 58th Street). Neiman Marcus is coming to Hudson Yards. We are excited that these iconic brands are committing to brick and mortar. We are also excited that some companies are planning to reinvent the traditional department store. They have realized that, to survive, they must accommodate modern shoppers like us.
Nordstrom seems to be leading the way, first with a store devoted to men, and then with another for women. We like everything we read about their ideas:
1. An open floorplan, allowing shoppers to see around corners.
2. Large dressing rooms, for those who want to linger, and the ability to order online and have your selection waiting in a dressing room near the store's entrance, for those who don’t.
3. A storewide liquor license just in case shoppers want to browse with cocktails in hand. (Dangerous for us, but irresistible.)
4. Very high and very low priced brands displayed together (think Chanel next to TopShop).
5. Easy returns, at desks near entrances, at drop boxes, or anywhere in the store.
6. An army of tailors—for things you buy anywhere in the store.
The Nordstrom family is onto something. We’ve been saying for some time that if retailers make stores hospitable, we will come. This could be our new “go to.” Exciting. We hope others follow suit.