Nordstrom Links Bricks and Clicks
Nordstrom appears to have achieved the link across selling channels that most
retailers aspire to, according to reports.
The department store chain manages inventories at its store and its website
as one entity. If a shopper is looking for a particular item online and it
is not in stock in the warehouse, Nordstrom will still be able to fill the
order pulling from store stock.
The same is true for in-store shopping where an item out-of-stock at a particular
location does not mean the consumer is out of luck. Nordstrom has the ability
to either grab the item from another store or from its website. Store employees
have the inventory information right in front of them in stores so they are
able to assist the shopper in making the purchase.
Jamie Nordstrom, executive vice president of Nordstrom and president of Nordstrom
Direct, told The New York Times that the company’s approach has driven "some
pretty meaningful results."
Nordstrom is unique in its approach to managing inventory, according to Adrianne
Shapira, an analyst at Goldman Sachs.
"I don’t see anyone going to the length they are," she told The
New York Times.
Nordstrom, which just launched a revamp of its website on Saturday, has been
busy perfecting what it is doing online for two years. The coordination of
online and offline was step number one, according to Mr. Nordstrom.
Nordstrom’s latest changes to its website include adding editorial and social
components. (See the Conversation tab on the nordstrom.com.)
The site revamp, according to Mr. Nordstrom, provides his company with a point
of difference from the competition.
"There’s not been a tremendous amount of innovation in online apparel
retailing, us included," he told The Seattle Times. "If you
look at most of our competitors’ websites, they all look the same, which is
According to Mr. Nordstrom, this latest step is just that, a step.
"There is no finish line on this. Every time we launch a new function,
the next day we have 10 more ideas," he told The Seattle Times. "This
is what retailing is about for the next 10 years."
Discussion Question: What do you think about Nordstrom’s approach to linking
its online and offline businesses? Do the latest changes to the Nordstrom
website represent an upgrade over the competition?
- Nordstrom Links Web-Store Inventory – The New York Times
- Nordstrom’s website gets new design, makes social networking a focal point
– The Seattle Times
- Conversation Home – Nordstrom