September 13, 2017

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Nordstrom tries store with stylists, but no clothes.

Nordstrom is opening a new store in California next month that’s significantly smaller than what the department store chain usually builds and — in a twist — won’t be stocking clothing or any inventory at all.

Instead, the Seattle-based company (JWN) said Monday the store will offer shoppers personal stylists to help pick out clothing and accessories, dressing rooms to try them on, online ordering, and services, such as alterations, manicures, wine and beer and hand-delivery of items to customers’ cars.

Sounds like a high-end take on the old catalog showroom stores I remember from the 1970s. That might be a smart move, given that expensive floorspace and (especially) carried inventory costs are two huge disadvantages of traditional retail versus e-commerce.