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Nordstrom Expands Local “Service Centers” With Two New LA Stores

Nordstrom said it’s opening two new Local stores in Los Angeles, bringing its total fleet of these small-format shops to three.

President of stores Jamie Nordstrom called L.A. one of its “most highly engaged markets” with 4 million customers there actively shopping the brand.

At the WWD Digital Forum earlier in September, Nordstrom CMO Scott Meden said Nordstrom Local functions as a “service center” catering to customers who otherwise might not be able to make it to a full-line store or have the time to visit as often as they’d like. “Whether it’s in New York or L.A., getting from point A to point B can really be a challenge,” Medden said of these cities’ notorious gridlock.

Unlike flagship stores that typically are located in downtown shopping districts, Nordstrom is positioning Local “closer to home,” Meden added, noting these stores’ proximity to where large numbers of customers work and live.

Following the original Nordstrom Local in the trendy Melrose neighborhood, the second, 1,200-square-foot Local store opened Sept. 28 in upscale and residential Brentwood and the third, a 2,200-square-foot shop, is scheduled to welcome customers starting Oct. 12 in the Downtown area. While the Brentwood location will feature a “feminine” ambiance and focus on styling and alterations, the industrial-chic Downtown store will include footwear, handbag and luggage repair in addition to barber and concierge services.

Nordstrom Local made waves when it first launched a year ago for being a store without inventory. Instead, Local leans on Nordstrom’s e-commerce platform to drive activity and foot traffic. That’s where customers go to book styling appointments in a Local shop, or reserve apparel to try on in store—where it’ll be waiting in a fitting room with their name on it. Nordstrom Local is the place where customers can take care of returns, bring clothing to be altered or just relax with a glass of wine and a mani/pedi, Meden said.

Nordstrom Local is a key piece of the retailer’s local market strategy, which brings together Nordstrom’s national reach and infrastructure with the “assets of people, product and place” to create new shopping experiences that reflect the needs and tastes of a given area. Shea Jensen, Nordstrom senior vice president of customer experience, said the results from the original Melrose store have encouraged the retailer to expand the Local concept. Not only do many visitors to that shop live within two miles but they also shop more frequently than other customers, she noted.

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Customers in select L.A. zip codes can take advantage of the company’s new “Get it Fast” feature, available on its website and mobile app, to see inventory available to pick up at a full-line or Local store by the next day at the latest or to ship to their homes.

“Our customers have told us they want to shop where, how and when they choose,” Nordstrom noted. “One of our goals with Nordstrom Local is to help provide them with a seamless and convenient experience, bringing services like in-store pick up of online orders, alterations, personal styling and more right to their neighborhood.”

Though he cautioned that Nordstrom had “nothing [official] to announce,” Meden said the Local concept would make a lot of sense in Manhattan and act as a complement to the women’s store scheduled to open in 2019 southeast of Columbus Circle and Central Park as the linchpin in Nordstrom’s New York City flagship.

“To have Local somewhere else on the island probably would be really helpful to a lot of customers,” Meden said.