In an unprecedented collaboration among major department stores, Nordstrom will accept merchandise returns from Macy’s and Kohl’s at its newly opened Local stores in New York City. The first Nordstrom Local store opened on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Sept. 5; the second will open in the borough’s West Village on Sept. 27.
The focus on services is part of the department store’s strategy to win over picky, time-pressed New York shoppers, just like its men’s store and its full flagship set to open in October. The 1,800-square-foot small-format store doesn’t house inventory; instead, customers can book appointments online for styling consultations.
The company will measure the success of the location by the market share it’s able to pick up, and not by sales-per-square-foot, a traditional retail metric, Jamie Nordstrom, President of Stores at Nordstrom, told Bloomberg.
The move by a department store accepting returns from a competing business isn’t entirely new — in July Kohl’s began accepting returns of products bought on Amazon in all of its 1,100+ locations. The companies launched the program in 2017, and rolled it out to 100 stores in the Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee markets by early 2019. The pilot program proved beneficial for Kohl’s: in the Chicago region, transactions and customer growth all outpaced the same metrics nationwide in 2018, with new customers up 9% compared to 1% elsewhere, according to Earnest Research.