What does resale mean for the Nordstrom shopper?

Nordstrom has just launched See You Tomorrow, a curated resale shop located in the NYC Flagship store. Everything in the shop has been bought by consumers who have either returned the products or have resold them back to Nordstrom (Forbes). See You Tomorrow is also online at https://seeyoutomorrow.nordstrom.com/.

All of the products in this shop-in-a-shop have been carefully examined and refurbished, and according to some of the people who have visited, look just as well put together as everything else in this Nordstrom location, but with lower prices.

Shoppers can bring their clothing items to the flagship store to consign for a Nordstrom gift card, but it is not clear if the clothing brought in has to be from Nordstrom or from a brand that Nordstrom carries. In the future, Nordstrom hopes to be able take in items that are sent to them from customers, not just brought in (Glossy). Returned products usually get sent to Nordstrom Rack to be sold at a steeply discounted price (Glossy).

The shop is set to be in the flagship location for at least 6 months and will expand into other locations depending on future success (Mall of America, please?).

You may be thinking, “Another department store doing resale? Eh.” but in my opinion, this is different than ThredUp in Macy’s or any other department store. I’ve been in a Macy’s that has a ThredUp section, and I was pretty disappointed. The only exciting thing to me was that I could be buying something used rather than new, but the display of the products was disorganized and overwhelming, and the product selection was confusing to me. At Nordstrom, these are items of clothing that are from designer or even luxury brands that are being sold at significantly lower prices than usual, which makes them affordable to wider range of people and therefore expands Nordstrom’s consumer base. There are lots of shoppers who avoid shopping at Nordstrom due to higher prices that aspire to own designer goods, and this gives shoppers access to high-quality goods at a fraction of the price.

Resale tends to make fashion more affordable to the masses, which is why I think that this is an amazing strategy for Nordstrom. I, a middle-class college student, can visit the store or the website and buy products that are in great condition that I wouldn’t usually be able to, which gives me more incentive to shop at Nordstrom. These products are also unique because they probably aren’t available on a mainstream level anymore. I trust that Nordstrom has taken good care of these products and that they have authenticated them to the best of anyone’s ability.

A big problem that major players in the resale world have run into has been authentication issues (@TheRealReal) that have put a damper on the trust that consumers have for these retailers. I don’t know why I trust Nordstrom to be better at this, but I just do. Nordstrom has been creating magic in the retail world as of late and I trust that the people behind See You Tomorrow want their curations to be as authentic as possible. Nordstrom also has an advantage in that many brands that are hesitant to sell at department stores do actually trust Nordstrom and know that Nordstrom can offer them something more than the rest.

I also think that this is a great move for Nordstrom because of how big the resale market is. The consumer mindset has shifted in the last few years as to what to do with things that we no longer need. It used to be “just throw it away” and moved towards “How else can I use this?” but now the first thought that many people have is “How can I make money off of this?”.

See You Tomorrow will give every person in New York an opportunity to resell their used designer products (because you know there are plenty of wealthy people in NY who have designer or luxury items that they no longer use) and make a quick profit off of them that can then be used to buy something else from Nordstrom.

I also really love how Nordstrom didn’t take a sustainability marketing angle and has focused more on the reselling of their products. While resale definitely cuts down on waste, this is not going to make a huge impact unless this idea truly scales across the country. And, you can’t forget that you can only get money back in the form of a Nordstrom gift card, which forces you to buy more from Nordstrom. However, if you then went and bought more things from the See You Tomorrow section, you are shopping in a more circular and sustainable way.

My last thought on this is that there is so much potential for Nordstrom here. Having a resale pop-up within the standard Nordstrom store makes hunting for that perfect, gently-used treasure that’s unattainable for most people a fun and exciting shopping experience, and encourages a wide range of shoppers to consider shopping for used items before buying new.

For more info/sources, visit :

The Future of Resale is Taking Shape at Nordstrom Now | Forbes (featured image source)

‘Resale and Retail Can Peacefully Coexist’: Inside Nordstrom’s long-term resale plans | Glossy

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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