Nordstrom NYC Flagship

In the week following Christmas 2019, I headed down to NYC to take a look at the Nordstrom NYC Flagship store.

It got a ton of hype in the retail news world, meaning that I couldn’t head home for the holidays in NY without checking it out. I’ll preface this piece with this statement: This was by far the best shopping experience I’ve ever had.

Sure, experience is a mega-buzzword in the retail community, however I truly believe that my two hours in this store were an experience, not just an act of shopping.

After visiting the shops at Hudson Yards and not being impressed with anything other than the beauty of the building, shopping at this Nordstrom was everything I could have ever asked for. I haven’t shopped at Nordstrom much in my life, only ever browsing through when I would walk out to my cat in the MOA parking lot after long days of work. I’ve always liked that Nordstrom has always been a more elevated shopping experience than the one you might get at Macy’s, but I had never been convinced to buy something at Nordstrom and would always buy the items I liked elsewhere, usually at the individual brand’s website.

The Nordstrom NYC Flagship is perfectly nestled into a corner of a busy NYC street, and the architecture of building blends into the surrounding city-scape, giving it a true “NY feel.” The Men’s store sits right across the street, looking similar yet different. It’s easy to tell that you’ve found the stores based on signage, but I really love that they didn’t try to be the only building in the area. While the building is shiny and new, it still fits in well with the old of the area.

I didn’t spend much time in the men’s department, mostly because I didn’t initially realize that the women’s and men’s departments were in separate buildings separated by a street. I was too excited to even really give the men’s department a good looking at.

Upon entering the street-level doors, I was greeted with friendly faces, a lot of customers, and an elevated shopping experience. The store is quite bright and a little to white for my taste (white walls, ceilings, floors, etc.) yet I still felt like I was shopping in a place like no other Nordstrom that I had ever been in.

I would say that the handbags and shoes floor was not that impressive to me, however I was amazed with the multiple levels of women’s clothing. As you go up the floors, you experience the luxury brands and then transition into the designer brands, with a very small section of young contemporary brands such as Topshop. I love brands, and seeing ones that I had never seen in person before (Comme des Garcons GIRL, Tibi, Ganni, etc.) was like a dream.

Small, curated selections of new-season clothing are strategically placed throughout the floor, and you’re encouraged to touch ALL of the clothing and even try it on. Speaking of trying things on, this leads me into my next section about the endless services that this location offers. Buy online pick up in store, alterations, shoe repair, a spa, a beauty bar, personal styling, customizations and alterations offered by a plethora of brands, and so many more. While none of these concepts are new, it was really cool to be able to actually see them all come together efficiently under one roof. While I was trying some shirts on, there was a touch screen in the room that I could ask for alterations and tailoring directly from, and one of the tailors could come right to my fitting room if I so desired.

If I wanted a stylist to follow me around the store or completely just shop for me, that could be arranged as well.

My overall favorite part of this experience was the atmosphere of the store. Every time that I have been in a Nordstrom, I’ve always felt either very out of place in the luxury section (don’t get me wrong, I am out of place there, but I still like to admire) or like an annoyance in the other sections. The associates always seemed to be dressed very professionally and act in a stiff manner and either don’t want to converse with you or very obviously want to sell you something.

This location was like no other. The sales associates ranged from all types of people, different ages, races, genders, and all truly just looked like real people. While they were all still dressed professionaly, it was clear that they all are allowed creative freedom through their clothing expressions. This made them more approachable and also allowed me to see different products worn in ways that I never would have though of.

Every person I walked by was willing to help, and they were also very good about leaving me alone if that’s what I wanted. I was also overjoyed with my experience browsing through the luxury sections, such as Moncler, where it was obvious that I wasn’t someone who was going to be making a Moncler purchase that day yet the sales associates still treated me with the upmost respect and wantred to actually talk about the products rather than sell them or ignore me because it’s clear that I can’t afford them.

Lastly, I really loved the gift pop-ups in the store. There was one a few floors up that had more generic holiday gifts for anyone, decorated like a gingerbread house, that had a better selection than any other gift pop-up I’ve seen. On the street level, however, there is a large structure that showcases curated pieces of art, jewelry, accessories, books, and perfume, all from digitallhy native brands or artists that I have found via surfing social media that really tested my urges not to buy anything. The products were all unique and were from brands or artists that you wouldn’t necessarily expect Nordstrom to carry, which was really great for someone like me who finds most of what I purchase via social media.

Overall, I had so much fun shopping here. It wasn’t a matter of zepnding money, I enjoyed browsing, seeing new things (some products for the first time in person because they’re only sold online) and being treated equally to all of the other shoppers. Nordstrom, you did goooooooooood.

Published by Emma Irwin

Emma Irwin is a passionate student of the retail industry. Freshly graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Retail Merchandising, she will be pursuing an M.S. in Apparel Studies with a concentration in Retail and Consumer Studies in fall 2020. Career ambitions include writing a formal research paper, becoming a retail writer and reporter, and maybe being a CEO someday.

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