As department store Nordstrom gets ready to open its new flagship location in the heart of New York City this week, the company is well aware of the "retail apocalypse" plaguing the industry. But the company hopes the new location, combined with its online success, will help drive the bottom line in the years to come.
"It's the largest market in North America. We have big expectations for this store," Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores at Nordstrom ($JWN), told Cheddar.
He noted that it took the 118-year-old retailer nearly three decades to find the right Manhattan location. "It's a tricky place to find a place to build a big store," he said.
While opening a 320,000-square-foot behemoth near Central Park should attract plenty of foot traffic, Nordstrom notes that "for New Yorkers especially, time and convenience are a real luxury, and so we're trying to create that."
The company plans to use elements from its online retailing to offer additional services for New York shoppers, such as delivery.
"We're going to have the best and most convenient return process in the industry," Nordstrom explains. "For most of the products we sell, if you're living in Manhattan we deliver next-day."
In addition to the usual Nordstrom brands, the store is betting people will take time to go in and buy the exclusive, limited-distribution, and emerging brands that will also be available. Shoppers and non-shoppers alike will also be able to stop by more than half a dozen restaurants and bars.
"We're focused on doing the best job we can for our customers, and we think that will carry the day over time."