UK department should take a leaf out of Nordstrom playbook


Upmarket US-based department store Nordstrom was founded in 1901 but it hasn’t lost its mojo and become the equivalent of UK TV’s sitcom store Grace Brothers from Are You Being Served?

 Rather the opposite in fact as it has become the go-to store for cutting edge pure-play retailers looking to gain exposure to bricks and mortar distribution and in some cases they have gained a bit of funding too.

 Those businesses it has struck deals with are a modest roll-call of some of the coolest newcomers to the retail scene. Bonobos, Shoes of Prey, Trunk Club, Eloquii, Madewell and Baublebar have all struck deals with the well respected Nordstrom to have shops within its impressive stores.

 The respect it enjoys comes from its willingness to embrace change and to invest in e-commerce. This can be seen from the fact that it generates a healthy 21% of revenues from non-store sales. Its creation of a multi-channel business that has one leg in the world of the established buy tadalafil express delivery physical department store and the other in the digital stratosphere has made it extremely relevant for today’s market.

 This has been recognised by the new kids on the retail block who realise they can do business with this progressive operator. It makes great sense of course to all parties involved. So the big question is: how come a similar situation has not been replicated in the UK.

 There are renowned stores such as Selfridges, Harrods, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, and House of Fraser that have been innovating – especially the latter, which is a hothouse of digital initiatives – but none have placed themselves as the de facto partner for pure-play retailers looking for square footage and a bit of expertise from an old school operator.

 This surely sounds like a great opportunity to not only a create a point of differentiation but to also gain exposure to some new thinking. Or am I missing something?

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider