Nordstrom Opening Different Kind of Store in NYC
New Yorkers waiting for Nordstrom to open its first flagship store in the Big Apple will still have to wait. The department store has yet to announce it has found a location within the city. That, however, doesn’t mean there is no news from the department store chain. The company is opening a new store under a different name, Treasure & Bond, this Friday in SoHo.
The Treasure & Bond concept is an experiment for Nordstrom. For one thing, it will be less than one-tenth the size of a typical Nordstrom at just above 11,000 square feet. For another, the store is being operated as a non-profit with proceeds going to charity. The company said it would change charities receiving donations every three months.
According to the Treasure & Bond website, "part gift boutique, part art gallery and part neighborhood gathering place, it’s an exciting new experiment in giving that has, at its core, one simple goal: To help people help people — and to do so with wit, imagination and style."
Last October when RetailWire first reported on Nordstrom’s plan to open the store, most members of the BrainTrust were skeptical the concept would benefit the chain’s eventual move into the city with a flagship store.
Doug Stephens, president of Retail Prophet, was among the dissenters.
"In researching for the book Spend Shift, co-author John Gerzema noted that of all the brand dimensions they studied, the one that had shifted the most in terms of its impact on consumer purchase decisions was ‘kindness’ — not exclusivity, not price leadership or even quality," wrote Mr. Stephens. "Consumers are shifting their dollars and brand allegiance to companies that demonstrate corporate kindness and social conscience. I applaud Nordstrom not only for recognizing but also for so boldly acting on it."
Ken Stumphauzer, an analyst at Sterne Agee, told The New York Times, "They’re probably trying to generate good will before they make themselves present in New York with a full-line store. This will essentially give them some perception or added insight into the New York consumer, and specifically into the more affluent full-priced consumer."
Peter Nordstrom, executive vice president and president of merchandising at Nordstrom, told the Times that the company is viewing Treasure & Bond as a retailing lab.
"It allows us to be way more nimble and to learn," he told the paper. "If we opened something like this, and had it be Nordstrom in some way, it would end up disappointing — people would show up and say, ‘What’s this?’"
- Nordstrom Launching ‘Do Good’ Concept – RetailWire
- About – Treasure & Bond
- Nordstrom in New York to Use an Alias – The New York Times
Discussion Questions: Will the learning from Treasure & Bond help Nordstrom as it moves toward opening a flagship store in Manhattan? Do you see other retailers developing similar concepts?