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[8 comments]

'GQ Selects' Nordstrom

June 1, 2012

Nordstrom is going all GQ. The retailer announced yesterday a new online venture that will feature men's fashion recommendations from the magazine's editors.

According to a release from the department store, the retailer will include "GQ Selects" — items highlighted in the magazine and on the GQ website — for sale on NordstromMen.com.

Beginning with GQ's July issue, the magazine's editors will select between 12 and 18 items a month for sale on the Nordstrom site, according to WWD.com. The Associated Press sets the magazine's monthly readership at seven million.

"Our customers look to us for style advice," said David Witman, Nordstrom general merchandise manager, menswear, in a press release. "Who better to partner with than GQ — the authoritative style experts? As we work to serve men better through our offering and experience, we hope our customers as well as GQ readers will respond well to the multiplatform components of the partnership — in the magazine, online, in Nordstrom stores, and on social channels."

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Nordstrom on the successful editorial franchise 'GQ Selects,' which allows our readers to literally shop from the pages of GQ," said Chris Mitchell, GQ vice president and publisher. "Aligning with such a retail powerhouse takes the program to the next level."

Menswear represents about 15 percent of Nordstrom's revenues, according to WWD.com.

FINANCIALS:     [NYSE:JWN]

Discussion Questions:

Discussion Questions: What do you think of the Nordstrom/GQ collaboration? How does it fit with the department store's recent moves such as its investment in Bonobos, acquisition of HauteLook, etc.?

While we value unfettered opinion, we urge you to show respect and courtesy for people or companies about whom you comment. Keep in mind that this is a public, professional business discussion. RetailWire reserves the right to edit or refuse the publication of remarks that we deem unsuitable. We may also correct for unintended spelling and grammatical errors.

Instant Poll:

How effective do you think the GQ Selects program will be in driving incremental sales for Nordstrom?

Comments:

I just hope it includes fashion tips regarding styles for men. Today we can get a lot of that information from our local men's clothing stores, but I am not sure they are very good at fashion and style. The folks at GQ appear to be better at it. Just think of all the men coming downstairs dressed for an evening out, and not hearing that familiar phase from their wives or partners, "You're not wearing that, are you?" Sure, like I am the only one that has heard it!

Today with casual dress being the norm, we need all the help we can get. Business attire, business casual, casual, and whatever are blending together and that should not happen. Macy's, Sears, JCP, Saks, etc., may need to soon follow suit. Well done Nordstrom!

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Frank Riso, Principal, Frank Riso Associates, LLC

I love it. The collaboration between a retailer and style-maker content is so natural that I am sure this will be the first of many such alliances to come.

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Liz Crawford, VP, Strategy & Insights, Match Drive

Can't argue with this one. Makes more sense than any other retailer collaboration I can think of recently. And the ability to "impulse shop" in near real time with reading the magazine is sure to drive some good numbers. Bravo!

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Ben Ball, Senior Vice President, Dechert-Hampe

Not that I can afford to shop there regularly...but somebody has to start helping men look interesting. Richard Branson is on the no-tie crusade but that isn't the solution either. For the most part, and I'm sure whoever is reading this is the exception, we men are BORING! I'm embarrassed to say I have five boring suits from JoS. A. Bank alone! When I suggested to the manager that they get something different he said that would never happen. My gay friends are the only men I know who dress with any kind of fashion sense. So good on you, GQ and Nordstrom!

Now...how do I get GQ style abs?

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Ian Percy, President, The Ian Percy Corporation

Nordstrom has been pursuing a more fashion forward strategy for five years now and this is a smart next step. Men's luxury is the hottest category right now and Nordstrom continues to set the standard for upper-end department stores. Not to mention that so many men really need an approachable and trustworthy guide to style. Smart marketing!

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Phil Rubin, CEO, rDialogue

I think curation of the assortment is one of the top "Amazon compete" strategies, so I love this move by Nordstrom. One way for other retailers to mimic this without involving a major publisher is to go the route that Sephora did and have selected employees create pinboards of favorite merchandise on Pinterest.

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Martin Mehalchin, Partner, Lenati, LLC

A brilliant and high-profile move which strengthens both brands. The key to all such collaborations is whether the DNA of the brands are synergistic and value adding. A definite YES for this example.

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Mike Osorio, Senior VP Organizational Change Management, DFS Group

I think this will cause Nordstrom to update and bring more fashionable products in the store for men ... maybe they'll have more options than the conservative, preppy look.

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Jerry Gelsomino, Principal, FutureBest

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