Posted by Alex Jackson on September 15, 2017
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?