Nordstrom is solidifying its presence in New York, which it says is already its largest market for online sales.
A new flagship store — seven floors and 320,000 square feet of shoes, handbags, designer dresses, make-up, jewelry and more — opens in Manhattan, just south of Central Park at the intersection of 57th Street and Broadway, on Thursday morning.
The retailer had previously opened a men’s location across the street roughly a year ago. It also has two Nordstrom Rack locations, two Nordstrom Locals and a shop for its Trunk Club personal styling service in the city. But Nordstrom thinks its newest full-line store, in the works for seven years, will tie all of those spaces together, and then some.
It will be a place where women can discover new brands. It will feature Nordstrom’s full suite of services, like online order pickup (24/7), clothing alterations, shoe repairs, stroller cleaning and appointments with personal stylists in the styling lounge.
Hungry for a bite to eat with all that shopping? The space has seven spots for that, including: A martini bar in the middle of the shoe floor, a gluten-free donut shop, a family friendly pizza and pasta option, a bar with a terrace overlooking Times Square and a finer-dining eatery, serving house-made gnocchi pasta, called “Wolf” that will stay open even after Nordstrom closes up for the night. And customer service reps will even deliver your meal to you, while you shop.
“As we’ve [opened] stores, each one made sense at the time,” co-president Pete Nordstrom said during a meeting with investors earlier this week. “New York was always out there,” he said, but Nordstrom was looking for the best “greenfield opportunity” as it scoured Manhattan commercial real estate.
He said Nordstrom considered taking the spot where Neiman Marcus now sits, atop Hudson Yards. But it settled on the bottom of the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere.
Nordstrom says its business is built on service, and so it had to offer plenty of those in the new store. On an offshoot of the second floor, it has an Anastasia Brow bar, a Drybar for blowouts, a Heyday for facials, Face Gym for facial massages, a waxing room, nail salon and more. You could spend a whole day there, hopping from one appointment to the next.
Nordstrom has said that when it opens a bricks-and-mortar store in a market, online sales there tend to jump more than 20%. It’s expecting a similar boost in Manhattan, even though the market is more crowded.
Barneys New York, with its future still in flux, is right down the block. Saks has its shrine on Fifth Avenue. Macy’s is a subway ride down in Herald Square. And Neiman Marcus just opened less than a year ago at the Hudson Yards mall on the West Side.
“We believe Nordstrom’s entry into the New York market should help drive a multi-year sales lift in the region … which the company has previously identified as a [more than] $700 million full-price opportunity,” Telsey Advisory Group analyst Dana Telsey said in a note to clients this week. “However, for the company overall, we continue to look for indications that marketing efforts and improvement in product assortments are helping to drive traffic/conversion following weak sales performance over the past three quarters.”
Nordstrom shares are down about 21% this year, while the S&P 500 Retail ETF is up 7%.
Here’s a look inside the new store, which opens Thursday.