Merchant Innovation

Nordstrom’s Next Sales Frontier? Cars

Nordstrom Teams Up With Tesla

Brick-and-mortar retailers will try just about anything to get shoppers to come into and stay in their stores for as long as possible, even if it means putting them in a car that can do zero to 60 mph without burning an ounce of gas.

In an interview with Fast Company, Tesla VP of North American Sales Ganesh Srivats confirmed that his company would be showing off one of its Model X electric SUVs inside a specially constructed temporary boutique inside a Nordstrom location at Los Angeles’ The Grove shopping complex. At 400 square feet, the Tesla store-within-a-store will allow shoppers to mix and match interior styles and take Tesla-guided test drives, all the while spending more time inside a Nordstrom while they’re at it.

While the partnership between Nordstrom and Tesla might seem forced at best at first glance, Srivats noted that, at the end of the day, the two companies share consumer bases that are more similar than they are different.

“[We’re] bringing Nordstrom customers a Tesla experience, and I think for Nordstrom as well, it’s like, ‘How can we target Tesla’s audience?'” Srivats told Fast Company.

Starting at $80,000, even the Model X might be too rich for some of Nordstrom’s shoppers’ blood, but with the more affordable Model 3 scheduled to hit the market next year at a price point somewhere in the $35,000 range, it makes sense that Tesla would want to start laying groundwork among generally affluent consumers now. The Tesla-within-a-Nordstrom setup will run through the end of 2016 and possibly longer if Nordstrom likes what it hears from its customers.

“We’re focused on listening to our customers and seeing how they respond to this type of differentiated experience,” the retailer said in a statement.

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Latest Insights: 

With an estimated 64 million connected cars on the road by year’s end, QSRs are scrambling to win consumer drive-time dollars via in-dash ordering capabilities, while automakers like Tesla are developing new retail-centric charging stations. The PYMNTS Commerce Connected Playbook explores how the connected car is putting $230 billion worth of connected car spend into overdrive.

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