As we have reported previously on this blog (and see our report on the topic), the rise of e-commerce is shifting the brick-and-mortar retail model away from stores being simply a place to buy something (as can be increasingly done online) and towards a focus on the customer experience. While this is happening through omnichannel store strategies (blended online and in-person) and in guide-shops such as Bonobos and Warby Parker, that strategy is now expanding to much larger retailers.
Nordstrom recently announced a new store concept called Nordstrom Local which “experiments with new delivery formats, promises an in-store bar with wine, beer, coffee, and juices; eight fitting rooms; alterations; convenient merchandise pick-ups and returns; manicures; and expert image consulting advice from its knowledgeable personal stylists.” While not carrying substantial inventory itself, the store is connected to local full-service/inventory stores and local warehouses. It does offers in-store pickups, at-home deliveries of ordered goods, and a place to return items, but the hook is that it offers a place the customer wants to be – in person. The food and drink, the store design, and the expert stylist advice are focused on bringing people into the store and becoming a gateway to both in-store and online shopping.
Another step towards the continued shifting of the retail market.