have to give Nordstrom’s a lot of credit for thinking outside the brick and
mortar box and being willing and able to try something different. Last year we
looked at their Nordstrom’s Local concept,
a store with no inventory instead it has
a team of personal stylists who assist the client in their purchasing decisions
ordering in items from other locations for the client to try out. This year
it’s a play to capture a bigger chunk of the rapidly growing men’s clothing
category in one of their top performing markets based in the heart of NYC.
This is a unique
men’s clothing store, It’s a 47,000 square foot three-story shop complete with
personal stylists, 24-hour online order pickup and sneaker shining!
Ok, that last feature seems a bit gimmicky but footwear is a big part of the
equation most of the bottom floor, in fact, is dedicated to shoes and sneakers.
The store also has sections dedicated to specific high demand brands such as
Calvin Klein, Valentino, Balenciaga, Dior not to mention getting a pair of
Levi’s customized in-house in their Levi’s section. Are you more into that athleisure
look? Want to look like you are coming from or going to the gym whenever you
hit the streets? Yes, you are also covered with an ample selection of
merchandise from Nike and Adidas. How about suits and more formal wear? Also
covered and when your all done shopping you can either stop at the in-house
coffee shop or the café. Sounds like a mini-mall tailored just for men right?
In a rapidly changing retail environment this does appear to be a bit of a
gamble but there is a lot of good reasoning behind the move.
For starters, NYC
is a huge market for Nordstrom’s online sales. It stands to reason that a few
of those shoppers may be enticed into a fancy new store to do their order
pickup and maybe walk out with a few new purchases to boot. Second men’s clothing
and in particular athletic apparel is one of those top performers in the
clothing industry as a whole right now. Guys are willing and eager to spend
their cash on some new threads frequently these days. Last and probably most
importantly it is about the experience. This is one key way that the
traditional retailer can easily set itself apart from online and make a lasting
favorable impression on a consumer that has grown accustomed to shopping from
the convenience of home.
As an independent retailer, there is a lot to
be learned from a move like this by one of the big national retailers. For
starters men’s apparel is a market that is still rapidly growing, there is a
lot of money to be made in men’s clothing be it casual apparel, athletic or
footwear and you can make it selling online or off. Second, this strategy of
standing out from the crowd by picking a niche and offering a more interactive
shopping experience can translate well to any independent brick and mortar
retailer. Are you looking to make your retail store more appealing to a fickle
consumer? Give them something to come in for but also something they want to
come back for the experience.