As many retailers wrestle to stay afloat, high-end department giant Nordstrom (JWN) has announced plans to open a new store concept next month that doesn’t include any merchandise.
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The store, called Nordstrom Local, will be a fraction of the size of its typical locations (around 3,000 square feet instead of the standard 140,000 square feet) and won’t carry any clothes. Instead, the retailer will offer services such as manicures, on-site tailoring and alcohol to its consumers.
The new location is scheduled to open early October in West Hollywood, California. It will contain several dressing rooms, where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories with the assistance of a Nordstrom personal stylist — even though the store won’t stock the merchandise for consumers to buy. Instead, they plan to direct them to purchase the gear online or at one of its other store locations.
Traditional retailers continue to struggle to compete with ecommerce, with many having to close stores of late. Last week, Gap (GPS) announced that it plans to close 200 Gap and Banana Republic locations over the next three years due to “underperformance.” At the same time, the company announced plans to open 270 locations for its growing brands like Old Navy and Athleta.
Sears (SHLD) also announced last month that it will be closing an additional 28 Kmart and Sears on top of the 180 locations it already closed in fiscal year 2017 so far. The company previously announced plans to close 150 locations by the end of the third quarter. Department store chains like Macy’s (M) and JCPenney (JCP) have also announced multiple store closings this year.
Nordstrom, however, is one of the few retailers that managed to report a decent performance over the last two years and as such continues to open traditional department stores around the U.S. and Canada, including one in Toronto this week.