Nordstrom plans to open a smaller store concept with no inventory.
The department store chain announced the new "neighborhood-hub" shop, which will open on Oct. 3 in West Hollywood, Calif. The idea is to let customers try on clothing and accessories with the help of a personal stylist. If shoppers like what they see, they can order the goods and have them delivered.
The move embraces a model used by such upstarts as Bonobos and Warby Parker, which generally rely on e-commerce but have boutiques where customers can touch and feel the wares. Smaller shops in urban areas also are less reliant on shopping mall traffic to fuel sales.
The Seattle-based company says the Nordstrom Local concept store will be staffed with personal stylists who can order merchandise for customers. Customers also can buy online inside the store or pick up online orders the same day.
The store will encompass one styling suite and eight dressing rooms. Services include on-site alterations and tailoring, same-day delivery and manicure services.
The opening of a single 3,000-square-foot location represents a low-risk experiment for the company, which typically operates stores of 140,000 square feet.
While the West Hollywood shop will not have inventory on-site, the stylists will be able to transfer merchandise in for customers from other Los Angeles-area Nordstrom stores, according to Anya Pavlovic, a spokeswoman for the retailer. She also said there are no plans to open similar shops at this time.
"We'll follow the pace of our customers, and we'll move as fast or slow as they want us to," Pavlovic said.
Bloomberg News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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