Nordstrom Introduces New Business Plan: A Store Without Inventory

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    Nordstrom is changing the way their customers shop. The large, nationwide department chain will be launching a brick and mortar store in West Hollywood that will offer everything except clothing.

    The U.S. apparel market is booming; back in 2016, it was worth approximately $315 billion alone. But since the rise of online shopping, the way people buy their clothing has changed from actually going to the store to buying with a few clicks on the Internet.

    It’s these two ideas that Nordstrom wants to merge: the idea that people can shop online, but also have an incredible in-store experience. This is where Nordstrom Local comes in.

    Instead of being about 140,000 square feet like the other stores in the chain, it will be only 3,000. There will be no inventory to purchase on site. Instead, personal stylists will be available to help shoppers customize their own wardrobe. After they’ve made their selections, customers can either order them online to be delivered to the store within the same day, or the stylists will visit other Nordstrom locations in the Los Angeles area to hand-deliver the purchase.

    The goal for this service is to prevent shoppers from feeling overwhelmed by too many choices, both online and in the store.

    Nordstrom Local’s sales approach isn’t just about the clothes purchased, but about the shopping experience as a whole. They’ll offer a whole assortment of drinks and food for the shoppers to munch on while picking out outfits, then if they choose to stay while the clothing is delivered they can opt for a manicure. Plus, tailors will be available on site to make any last-minute alterations.

    While some shoppers may originally think that a store without inventory would make shopping much more complicated, Nordstrom thinks it will do exactly the opposite.

    Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s Vice President of customer experience explained in a statement why she thinks this new business model will streamline the overall experience. She said:

    “As the retail landscape continues to transform at an unprecedented pace, the one thing we know that remains constant is that customers continue to value great service, speed and convenience. We know there are more and more demands on a customer’s time and we wanted to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their shopping needs.”

    Nordstrom Local will open October 3.