Retail

Retail Pulse: Nordstrom Takes Local Concept To NYC; Grubhub Rolls Out Perks

Nordstrom

Brick-and-mortar retailers are taking small-format, inventory-free locations to big cities: Nordstrom, for instance, is bringing its Nordstrom Local concept to the Big Apple. One store opened in New York City’s Upper East Side, while another is set to come to the West Village later in September.

At the locations, customers will be able to access services such as returns, order pick-up and alterations. Additional services encompass shoe, handbag and small leather goods repair; gift wrapping with Paper Source, including a self-wrapping station; and styling offerings including appointments, consultations, and other services. And the company’s Upper East Side Location will offer regularly scheduled stroller cleanings Via Tot Squad. The West Village location, on the other hand, will provide a rotating selection of Pop-In by Olivia Kim.

Jamie Nordstrom, president, Nordstrom stores said in an announcement, “Nordstrom Local is about giving customers more access to brands and styles they love, to try on or take home in a fast and convenient way. We hope to make shopping easy by being closer to where our customers live and work.” Nordstrom added that the company wants “to bring the added convenience of services such as online order pick-up, fast and easy returns, alterations, styling and more as close to customers as possible.”

Beyond New York City, Nordstrom Local has three locations out west in California — Melrose, Brentwood and Downtown Los Angeles. Shea Jensen, senior vice president of customer experience, said in the announcement, “We’ve learned a lot from our customers since opening our first Nordstrom Local on Melrose in Los Angeles in Fall of 2017.” The executive pointed out that shoppers who make a visit to a Nordstrom Local location “spend 2.5 times more and account for 30 percent of online order pick-up in Los Angeles.”

As reported last year, the 3,000 square-foot West Hollywood Nordstrom Local store boasts multiple features. Shoppers can access on-site tailoring and personal stylists and can also tap into omnichannel features like buy online, pick up in-store. The store also features a bar — because shopping is thirsty work — and serves as a pick-up as well as drop-off station for consumers.

Through local retail hubs, merchants are aiming to provide locations closer to where consumers live or work with convenient access to services such as returns.

In Other Brick-and-Mortar News

Target is reportedly telling its suppliers to handle tariff costs to minimize the impact of tariffs on consumer goods from China. Before the tariffs went into force at the beginning of September, Target reportedly sent suppliers a letter. The retailer “will not accept any new cost increases related to tariffs on goods imported from China,” according to a memo reportedly signed by Target Chief Merchandising Officer Mark Tritton, per reports.

The memo sent to national-brand vendors that are the importers of record on Chinese goods is said to be part of ongoing communication with suppliers regarding the impact of tariffs. A Target spokesperson said, according to reports, “Given the scope of our business and breadth of our assortment, including owned and national brands, we’ve needed to take a number of steps to manage our business accordingly and keep prices low for guests.”

In other news, LEGO plans to bring 35 additional stores to China by the close of 2019. The move would take the total to over 140 in that country and almost 600 worldwide. Chief Executive Niels Christiansen said, according to reports, “You cannot say the physical experience is not necessary, just because more is bought online” as he highlighted the importance of “try-vertising,” in which children try new products in shops.

On another note, Grubhub has unveiled the rollout of “Perks” for mobile users. It highlights exclusive offers only available on the dining platform, in addition to new ways to earn as well as redeem restaurant loyalty rewards. Eligible diners will now be able to choose from a range of offers only available on Grubhub from participating restaurant locations, including a free Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell, among other offers.

Grubhub Founder and CEO Matt Maloney said in a press release, “Restaurants have always used free food as a perk for their VIP diners — to keep them happy and coming back. We have now extended this practice to Grubhub diners by building loyalty tools so our restaurant partners can promote their restaurants more aggressively on our marketplace and reward their best digital diners as well.”

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.

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