It’s hard to believe how much the shopping landscape has changed inside of ten years. Between E-commerce and fast fashion, the shopping scales have been thrown all off-kilter. But let’s face it, there is something truly exciting about Canada earning a place on the international retail stage. And the unveiling of Seattle-based Nordstrom, which officially opens today has only added to that excitement.
At a media preview of the 220,000 square-foot, three-level store which replaces the old Sears location, we noticed a warm lifestyle atmosphere, with splashes of luxury all around. The men’s dressing area resembles a bachelor pad with sports scores on overhead screens; Bar Verde is a full service restaurant with a bright glass wall overlooking the CF Toronto Eaton Centre, and the ladies change area feels more like a Dundas Street West apartment with its leather sofa and vintage chair. Perhaps an attempt at moving people away from mobile shopping, and back into the store.
Hot on the heels of Nordstrom fundraising cocktail and fashion show, which raised $270,000 for six local foundations, we chatted with Nordstrom spokesperson John Bailey, about the new store and its brand of “lifestyle merchandising.”
Nordstrom feels more like a home than a shopping location! Is this what the company was going for?
“We want to create an inclusive shopping environment for our customers. We hope the store environment creates a sense of discovery, allowing customers to navigate easily from department to department and find new brands they haven’t experienced before. We’ve also incorporated in more natural light to connect the shopping experience inside the store to outside world.”
We need to talk about the dressing rooms. How did Nordstrom decide on change rooms that feel so individual to the experience?
“This is an example of our lifestyle merchandising and how we try to create a special atmosphere within each department that provide an appropriate backdrop for the merchandise.”
There is a bar?
“It’s a great place for people to come together from all parts of the store.”
You’re making the stylist experience more available?
“The store will have Personal Stylists, our complimentary wardrobing and shopping service. Personal Stylists can help customers shop the entire store for a special item or a compete new wardrobe. The store has seven stylists to serve customers. The service is perfect for people who don’t have the time to shop or like the guidance of a fashion expert. We also offer Studio Services to support the many costume stylists and designers working on film and television projects in the city.”
Has Nordstrom given Toronto anything unique to this location?
“Customers here have a lot of choices as to where to shop in Toronto. We’ve created many new services for our Toronto stores with this in mind, including free two-hour delivery in downtown Toronto, personalization services (monogramming, embossing and engraving) and ‘Nordstrom to You,’ where we’ve put our store on wheels to bring personal styling to our customers’ homes. Our store will offer customers Sugarfina, a luxury candy boutique featuring more than 150+ gourmet candies from around the world.”