Is the retail industry getting a makeover?

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Mass merchant
brick and mortar retailers have been struggling to redefine their identity in
the day and age of internet retail. It’s becoming harder and harder to lure
that consumer away from their smartphone or ipad and back into an old fashioned
brick and mortar retailer. 

So what’s the solution to this problem? Well Nordstrom
has decided to take a novel approach instead of retailing why not offer
consulting services? Next month Nordstrom will launch a single location store
called Nordstrom Local in west Hollywood California. The store will have no
inventory instead it will have a team of personal stylists who will assist the
client in their purchasing decisions. Clients will be able to try on items
transferred to the location and then order the item often with same or next day
delivery for the purchased goods. Need some alterations done to that new dress?
Services will be available on site and enjoy the whole experience with a glass
of wine or your other favorite beverage, sounds great right? The fact of the
matter is this is not reinventing the retail wheel here many independent
boutique retailers offer similar services (and we are proud to service many of
them!) but the fact that a major retailer like Nordstrom is trying this
business model is quite telling. Why are shoppers turning more and more to
online? Convenience is the number one factor. Shopping in a traditional
retailer is a headache and time consuming in the eyes of many consumers.
Consumers have busy lives and schedules and many do not see picking over department
store racks as a fun time. 

So why not change up the business model a bit?
Instead of a chore turn it into an experience. Enticing customers with a full
array of other services and perks instead of work. It’s a shopping spa you get
a consultation, a new outfit and a manicure or pedicure with your glass of
wine. Now the key to success of a model like this relies heavily on a well-trained
and knowledgeable staff and great logistics. Whether Nordstrom succeeds or
fails with this trial program this is certainly a great way for retail to differentiate
itself from internet retailers. After all when was the last time the internet offered
you a glass of wine?    

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