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 said 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.
The effort is part of a trend by traditional department stores and malls as they cut costs, shutter stores and try to stay relevant and competitive as their customers increasingly go online to buy things. So far, the new Nordstrom concept, dubbed Nordstrom Local, is limited to one store in the Los Angeles area. But, the company is suggesting that other stores could be in the works. "We'll follow the pace of our customers," the company said.
In many ways, the new Nordstrom concept follows a trend in the retail industry to focus on offering more online options and to turn shopping into a luxury service experience, especially for those who feel it is a chore. Earlier this year, sportswear brand Under Armour opened a shop in downtown Detroit that showcases merchandise that customers can see, touch, try on and buy to take with them – or purchase online in the store right now or later at home.