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Nordstrom’s new moves to capture the lucrative men’s clothing market

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You 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.     

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