Nordstrom’s Local concept needs work
I checked out the Bloc, a large mixed-use property in downtown Los Angeles (#DTLA), that once housed the Broadway Department Store offices and is now home to a Nordstrom Local.
Local, a hub for online order pickups and returns, is heavy on services and helpful staff but low on inventory. When this concept launched last year, some wondered how successful a store without merchandise for sale would be, especially given that this particular site is positioned between a Macy’s and a Uniqlo. The #DTLA Local offers online services (pickups and returns), personal stylists, dressing rooms to try on merchandise, an alterations station and a barber shop.
I have a few recommendations for making Local more relevant and visible to consumers:
Unless one is in the know, browsers or shoppers will likely be disappointed (or confused) when they walk into Local. While associates were super welcoming to visitors, explaining the concept and engaging with walk-ins, the store could also benefit from better signage. Also, why not showcase new items, ensembles, sizes, etc., offer incentives or provide cool screens that would allow customers to immediately place an order?
Locals go Local
Of course, it’s easier to market to existing customers who can be targeted based on purchases, delivery address or location. Customers will absolutely find Local a convenient place to pick up and try on online orders, especially those who live or work downtown. There were a lot of packages ready for pickup during my visit. Local is also a great place to get garments (new purchases from Nordstrom, as well as other apparel) altered.
Out-of-towners visiting the area, particularly brand-conscious international travelers, would really benefit from appointments or ordering in advance and having a ready-made dressing room, stylist and seamstress on-hand. Teaming with the surrounding hotels is a perfect way to raise awareness and attract high-value customers.
Like many malls, DTLA is reinventing itself with fun eateries, inviting spaces, entertainment and shopping. Local is another example of how Nordstrom continually innovates and advances their value proposition and caters to customers, keeping its brand relevant and viable.
- About – The Bloc
- Nordstrom opening more Local stores without inventory – RetailWire
- Nordstrom Local Expands in Los Angeles – Nordstrom, Inc./PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think service-oriented “showrooms” shortchange customers, or is the limited scope of what they do understood by shoppers? What else do you think Nordstrom can do to make Local more engaging and successful?