Pushing the envelope for a service-led retail economy where selling assistance is as valuable as vending products, luxury American department store chain Nordstrom has opened a prototype concept store in Los Angeles that offers nothing but professional services.
Carrying no merchandise whatsoever, Nordstrom Local facilitates fulfilment and ‘necessity’-related services including click-and-collect, returns and curbside pick-ups, as well as product personalisation, tailoring and alterations – even for non-Nordstrom products (see Renegade Retail for more on such ‘beyond-brand’ thinking). Additionally, it hosts sub-spaces anchored in small lifestyle luxuries including a nail salon and a bar serving wine, beer, coffee and juices.
Catering to LA’s considerable fashion audience, it’s also home to Nordstrom’s free personal-shopping service, Trunk Club. Customers get involved by scheduling an appointment via an online form, by phone or in person, and are met with a selection of clothing cherry-picked by a stylist according to their size, style and fit preferences. The service is based in eight plush fitting rooms surrounded by a spacious waiting area. Keeping the system super agile, products are transferred from the brand’s ‘regular’ stores nearby on the same day.
Currently targeting busy, urban clientele, the relatively small (3,000 sq ft) boutique sits prominently at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place in West Hollywood. However, such stores could be equally as lucrative beyond retail’s regular epicentres, in locations where services are harder to come by.