Nordstrom Inc.’s plan to create its first New York neighborhood market is getting closer to fruition now that its first local hub on the Upper East Side is open.
The new Nordstrom Local New York opened this week at 1273 Third Ave. The second local service hub in Downtown Manhattan is slated to open Sept. 27 in the West Village at 13 7th Ave.
The concept of Nordstrom Local, according to the retailer, is to “[g]et the Nordstrom experience a little closer to home. Our convenient hub for online order pickup and returns, express alterations, styling help and more is now open in more locations to serve you–including New York City,” the company said in an email to customers.
For online orders, shoppers can collect their goods from the hubs as soon as the next day at no cost. Consumers who want to return or exchange online orders can also do so at the hub locations—whether it’s a Nordstrom product or not. In keeping with its well-known level of customer service, Nordstrom said on its site “we’ll even mail returns to other online retailers.” Other hub services include alterations, with the ability to book appointments online, and free styling advice.
Completing the neighborhood marketplace concept will be the opening of Nordstrom’s new women’s flagship at 225 West 57th Street, near Columbus Circle and opposite its men’s store. The new flagship is set to open on Oct. 24. The overall concept already includes the Nordstrom Rack at Union Square and at 31st Street and 6th Ave., and the Trunk Club clubhouse at 457 Madison Ave.
The idea behind the marketplace concept is to combine physical and digital assets so they can be leveraged to drive sales in the New York City market. Nordstrom’s first test for its service hub was in Los Angeles, which the company scaled this year. New York City represents Nordstrom’s largest market for online sales.
Once open, the new flagship could provide some formidable challenges to Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as shift more of the shopping to the West Side.
Retail consultant Walter Loeb, doesn’t think the relatively new Neiman Marcus store at Hudson Yards would see much impact from Nordstrom, however. That’s because nearby Nordstrom stores already give it a presence in the area, and a huge customer base to boot. Nordstrom operates four stores in New Jersey–Menlo Park, Short Hills, Garden State Plaza and Freehold Raceway Mall–and two in New York at Roosevelt Field and The Westchester.