As Retailers close doors, Nordstrom continues to open them. But How?
As a current Nordstrom intern, I have gained a lot of insight into how this company works, and not only survives- but thrives in a dying retail world.
What was once a family shoe store is now a retail giant. The Nordstrom family has operated stores for more than a century, continuing to target fashion-forward customers across the country. As many well-known retailers begin to close brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, Nordstrom begins to penetrate new markets.The Seattle-based company recently opened its first full-line store in Manhattan, a three-floor store solely for men. The company also plans to open an even larger women’s store, totaling seven stories, across from the men’s store in the fall of 2019.
So how in the world are they doing it despite the recent retail turmoil?
Own Brands and the Power Behind Them
Nordstrom has several private label brands, or its “own brands” which are marked under the name of a retailer rather than the manufacturer. Zella- a relatively inexpensive activewear line is a Nordstrom private label brand that compares to many high-end workout lines. The brand has built a reputation of good quality for low prices. This brand strategy allows retailers to be unique in a highly saturated market, offering products that are not easily replicated by competitors.
Connect the Online and In-Store Experience
Let’s face it- online shopping has taken over. Why go to the store when you can shop from your couch? Regardless of Nordstrom’s customer service, there are technologically savvy customers that would just rather shop online. Styleboards is a new, innovative way that Nordstrom is able to give customers the in-store experience via cell phone. Nordstrom employees are able to connect with a customer and send them pieces to shop via Styleboards app. All the customer needs to sign up is a phone number! The app allows employees to send a ‘style board’ through a text message. The customer then has the option to move items to the cart, or remove them. When the customer makes a purchase, the employee receives commission just as they would if the customer physically walked into a Nordstrom. It is a win-win for both the digitally focused consumer and employee.
Give the Customer a Reason to Visit
Nordstrom’s customer service is top notch- and there’s no question about it. The salespeople give customers a reason to come into the store. Employees build relationships with customers in a way that other retailers do not. I have seen this in action first-hand. A customer rarely reaches the register without telling an employee a little something about why they are shopping on a particular day.
Stay Curious and Ever-Changing
The company’s omni-channel approach to retail is not only keeping them in the game, but keeping them relevant. Although several department stores are simply used to serving the customer face-to-face, times are changing. Retailers must combine in-store experience with advanced technology to reach the changing customer. Staying curious and open minded when it comes to change is key to surviving this large-scale shift in consumer buying behavior.
Born and raised in New York, Allison Smith is a professional Blogger. Since starting her blog in 2016, The Conscious Blonde, she has learned to create and develop original content across all social media platforms. She has had the opportunity to work with several brands to broaden their social media audiences.
Allison is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at LIM College and Interning at Nordstrom. Visit her LinkedIn to learn more.