Here Comes the Nordstrom Bride

Discussion
Dec 01, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Earlier this year, 53 percent of respondents to a RetailWire poll
rated Urban Outfitter’s chance at succeeding with a new bridal concept it has
planned to open in 2011 as good or excellent. Only 12 percent rated the chain’s
chances as poor.

Now, Nordstrom is looking to get its share of the bridal business
with the opening of 14 new salons in its stores. In a test at nine locations,
Nordstrom saw a 30 percent increase in new shoppers.

"This is a great way to meet new customers and show them what we can do
and earn their business for life," Brooke White, a spokesperson for Nordstrom,
told the Chicago Tribune.

"It is a business, to a large degree, that department stores really abdicated
going back to the 1980s," Anne Brouwer, a senior partner at McMillan Doolittle,
told the Trib. "Department stores were the bridal centers. You
went to the department stores first. That’s where people started."

Discussion Questions: What do you think of Nordstrom testing bridal salons
in its stores? Do you see this as part of its flagship store operations going
forward or as a standalone concept? Do you think there is an opportunity for
a bridal version of a Nordstrom Rack, as well?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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9 Comments on "Here Comes the Nordstrom Bride"


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Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
10 years 5 months ago

Brides-To-Be want their weddings to be very special. Of all the retailers today that offer wedding assortments and the promise of dreamy memories even if costly, who creates the perception of a great wedding with all the memorable accompanying visions better than upscale Nordstroms? Nobody! Sound like good strategy.

Anne Howe
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

With its tradition of excellent service and attention to the needs of the shopper, I believe Nordstrom will do very will with a bridal test. Having just finished the bridal gown shopping process with daughter number one, I can attest to the need for options that are truly focused on service. Many salons provide way less help and advice than needed for this type of investment.

If daughter number two ever gets married, this shopper Mom will give them an opportunity without question!

Ryan Mathews
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

I agree with Gene. For a certain market segment, it’s a brilliant answer. Now, given that that is a relatively small segment I’d certainly try a departmental–as opposed to a dedicated, free-standing unit–approach, at least at first.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Gene said it so well. Nordstrom’s offers quality, service and a name recognition unmatched in the industry. What bride would not at least go to Nordstrom’s before making a selection?

Marge Laney
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

My first thought when I read that Nordstrom was testing a bridal concept was, “They aren’t already in the bridal business?” The Nordstrom experience lends itself beautifully to the needs of the bride-to-be, both from a product and service point of view. Their entrance into the category is a welcome relief for consumers and should be a worry for the other retailers who are already in it.

Stacey Silliman
Guest
Stacey Silliman
10 years 5 months ago

Nordstrom focuses on the customer experience and making every experience special–I know they’ll hit it out of the ballpark.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Nordstrom will be successful here. But they will have their work cut out for them if they decide to take on David’s Bridal, which knows its segment inside out and has monetized it in numerous ways.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

All I can say is – why not?

Robert Craycraft
Guest
Robert Craycraft
10 years 5 months ago

I’m not certain Nordstrom can be a real competitor with department stores with such a thin Homes offering. For my money, Lord & Taylor’s new bridal salon is the better bet with it’s tie-in, at Fifth Avenue and online, to their robust new Home Store.

Without a Home store, a Bridal department is just another dress department.

That being said, I think Nordstrom will do well, but not from scooping full-line stores’ customers as much as independent shops’.

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