Sneak Peek: Nordstrom’s Retail Store of the Future

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie Grill-Goodman profile picture

As retailers try to refine the recipe for the successful store of the future, many are focusing on perfecting customer experience inside their brick-and-mortar walls.


Nordstrom has been experimenting with just that, opening its first Nordstrom Local on Melrose in Los Angeles in October 2017. Now the retailer is doubling down on that concept with two new Local stores, both of which revolve around bringing unique services that reflect the needs of customers who live nearby.

These neighborhood hubs offer customers the opportunity to shop and access Nordstrom services in a convenient, central location, however they don't house inventory on site (personal stylists can transfer merchandise in for customers). The opening of the two additional locations is part of Nordstrom's local market strategy, in which the company is combining the scale of its national infrastructure with its local assets of people, product and place, in an effort to reimagine the shopping experience. 

Inside Nordstrom Local Brentwood, which opened September 28th.

"Los Angeles is one of our most highly-engaged markets, with roughly four million active customers," said Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores. "Our customers have told us they want to shop where, how and when they choose. One of our goals with Nordstrom Local is to help provide them with a seamless and convenient experience, bringing services like in-store pick up of online orders, alterations, personal styling and more right to their neighborhood."

Nordstrom Local Brentwood (214 26th Street) opened on Sept. 28th and Nordstrom Local Downtown Los Angeles (The Bloc, 750 W. 7th Street, Suite S200) will open on Oct. 12.

Local Brentwood's sleek Buy Online & Pick-up in Store.area.

Both locations offer next-gen services, such as consultations with personal stylists, Buy Online & Pick-up in Store, alterations, curbside pickup, fast and easy returns from and other online third-party retailers, Trunk Club services, refreshments and elevated gift wrapping in partnership with Paper Source.

The stores are furnished by Anthropologie Home, who is collaborating with Nordstrom to outfit the stores with the latest in home goods and accessories. Each of the Nordstrom Locals will also offer dry cleaning services in partnership with a Los Angeles area dry cleaner.

The design of the 1,200-square-foot Brentwood store focuses on styling and alterations. The ambiance is feminine with copper lighting pendants, curved furniture, soft lights, white walls and wood accents.

The 2,200-square-foot downtown Los Angeles store will offer an on-site concierge and barber services in partnership with Baxter of California, as well as shoe, handbag and luggage repair services in partnership with a local cobbler. Customers will also be able to purchase grab and go food at this location. The store's design reflects the city's energy through an industrial décor complete with open ceilings, exposed ducts, deep saturated colors, woven wall art and hand-crafted wooden accented furniture.

Both locations offer alterations and elevated gift wrapping in partnership with Paper Source.

"Our customer feedback for our Melrose location, which opened in fall 2017, has been positive. Many of our Nordstrom Local customers typically live within two miles of the store and shop more regularly than other customers," said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom senior vice president of customer experience. "We are really excited to introduce two new Nordstrom Local stores to our customers and neighbors in Brentwood and downtown Los Angeles and look forward to seeing how they engage with these two new highly-customized locations."   

Local stores have iPads kept out on tables for customer, salespeople and personal stylist use.

Real-Time Inventory View

Additionally, Nordstrom is introducing a new feature called "Get It Fast" on and the mobile app for customers in eligible zip codes in Los Angeles. Get It Fast will provide customers with a real-time view of inventory available no later than next day. They can then choose a Nordstrom Local or Nordstrom location to pick up their purchase or opt for free next day shipping to their Los Angeles address.

Real-time inventory is a key component for the retailer’s Local stores, since they won't house merchandise.

 “Our Nordstrom Local stores have iPads available so that our personal stylists can use them during their customer styling appointments,” a Nordstrom spokesperson told RIS. “Our customers are also welcome to peruse on our iPads as well.  The iPads are kept out on tables for customer, salespeople and personal stylist use.”