How Nordstrom Boosts An Underrated Business

Nordstrom Inc. is committed to expanding its offerings to buyers and has a strong focus on strengthening the domestic side of its business.

The vision emerged Thursday night when Nordstrom’s flagship Manhattan unveiled a home boutique with merchandise focused on three “mainstay” categories: kitchen and tabletop, home textiles and home decor.

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The Nordstrom Home store measures 5,520 square feet on two levels and is located near the corner of Broadway and 57th Street. There are street and interior entrances to the second floor, with a staircase connecting the levels, creating a duplex-type store-in-a-store.

The Great Jones-branded wallpaper lining the walls is a clue that Nordstrom has become the exclusive retailer of the brand’s cult cast iron cookware. This is one of many such partnerships that Nordstrom has established with direct-to-consumer brands that were never previously present in a physical store: Bearaby, which sells weighted blankets; Casper mattresses and bedding; Carraway Ceramic Cookware and Open Spaces Baskets, Bins, Shelves and Drawer Dividers are among the d-to-c brands first wholesaling through Nordstrom, exclusively.

Emerging brands featured include Estelle glassware, Otherland candles and Serax tableware. Established brands include Boll & Branch tub and bedding, Dyson vacuums, Staub cookware, Marimekko decor, and the exclusive Nordstrom Made brand.

A number of local New York City women-founded brands are featured, including Beverly’s, for cookware and tableware, founded by Beverly Nguyen in Lower Manhattan; Quiet Town, for shower curtains and textiles, founded by Lisa Fine in Brooklyn, and Thompson Street Studio, for quilts and pillows made from recycled fabrics, founded by Kiva Motnyk.

There are also gifts and novelty items – most aimed at tourists – like table books, key chains, a Missoni cookbook and vases, bowls and even a self-watering wet planter from MoMA. Design Store.

The reception area once housed a Nordstrom x Nike concept store and revolving shops for the brand’s “takeovers”. Before, the house was on a lower level in less space where the children developed. The Nike store has moved to a lower floor of women’s shoes.

Like other department stores, Nordstrom sees itself as a complete line. However, with the house, that was not really the case. Still, its selection of homes has grown over the past year and a half, but does not sell expensive furniture, beds, or major appliances except for certain types of furniture and smaller and compact appliances. to take away.

“Basically, the houses in the department stores have big and huge assortments. We’re more organized, ”said Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s vice president of special projects and home. “It’s the essential coffee maker. It’s very lifestyle, ”Kim said. The home offering maintains Nordstrom’s spirit and relevance to Nordstrom customers “by bringing an accessible design-driven perspective into their homes,” she said.

“We have thoughtfully and deliberately sought out small independent manufacturers, established designers and renowned institutions rooted in the city itself to support local businesses,” Kim said, stressing the importance of connecting with local communities. Nordstrom 57th Street opened in October 2019 about four months before COVID-19 forced stores to close. He strives to build more clientele.

About a year ago, Kim added her responsibilities to the home and brought in a team of six, including a home manager, buyers and assistant buyers, for the initiative.

Last February, Nordstrom unveiled its “Closer to You” program to “expand openness”, involving a massive expansion of the digital assortment – 300,000 items to potentially 1.5 million within three to five years – and establishing new types of agreements with brands, such as dropshipping and even taking financial stakes in brands as has been the case with Asos. This would naturally include products for the home. The agenda also calls for injecting lower price offerings into Nordstrom Rack and fine-tuning the market strategy, linking Nordstrom stores, non-price Rack stores, Nordstrom Local locations and a variety of services to deepen engagements. client.

Prior to COVID-19, Nordstrom began to gradually expand its assortment for the home, mainly linens, towels, decor and kitchenware, according to Pete Nordstrom, president and chief executive of the brand. “We haven’t had a lot of authority in the area,” Pete said during the Closer to You announcement. “We have all these other productive businesses, but we can add a lot more selection of houses without, for example, reducing our supply of shoes. We see it happening right now. If you go to some of our stores, you already notice it.

A Nordstrom insider said 72 of Nordstrom’s 100 department stores sell home products, some more than others, although a Nordstrom spokesperson said: “It’s not a specific number, and it is the one that we are currently evolving. A full Nordstrom Home experience is not currently planned for all doors, but all of our stores will have some expression of home goods, especially at key times like the holiday and birthday sales.

In some places, the home is gaining square footage by taking up space in “oversized” departments, which could mean categories where things aren’t sturdy enough. In other places, the goods are moved to the house in plain view, without reducing anything. Nordstrom stores are designed to be flexible, so square footage can be added or subtracted from categories and brands, depending on sales trends. Within the store fleet, there is no other house installed like the 57th Street store – 50 brands that had not yet been worn were brought in, bringing the total number of units storage at 1,400 – although devices and many brands are deployed.

“I love creating environments for the home,” Kim said. “It’s very personal. These are the things I could put in my house. It’s part of it, but there’s a unique perspective to Nordstrom. It’s always with the customer in mind.

Luz W. German