Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nordstrom Rack makes its mark on Manhattan

Nordstrom Rack made its Manhattan debut this morning with a 32,136-sq.-ft. store in the heart of the Union Square district – and shoppers didn’t waste anytime, many lining up to get their first peek at the store.

The store takes up 32,000-square-feet in the basement of a former Virgin Megastore. Although the chain’s president recently said that he would have liked to have led its NYC debut with a full-line store, the move comes at an appropriate time when many shoppers are trading down amid the down economy.

As an outlet, the Rack carries a more limited variety of merchandise that includes clearance from Nordstrom's own stores and products from name-brand suppliers.

To accommodate the expected heavy volume, the store features an automated checkout line. A large television screen automatically directs a single line of customers to one of 19 cash registers – similar to what you'd see in various supermarket locations, such as Whole Foods.

With 20,000 Nordstrom cardholders in the greater Manhattan area – and no full-line Nordstrom stores in the city – I’m sure this store will get a lot of play. The next closest Nordstrom is about 25 miles away in the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island.

And finally, shoppers that bought anything from the store today received a free tote bag. (Yes, that's mine in hand -- I couldn't resist).

The New York City location brings to 76 the number of Rack outlets that Nordstrom operates. The retailer has 114 full-line stores.

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