Last year, Nordstrom opened a store with no inventory – yes, NO INVENTORY.
How could that be?
Its first boutique-style store, called Nordstrom Local, opened in Los Angeles last October. The store is only 3,000 square feet. It’s a new test for the giant department store. Although there is no inventory, it has large dressing rooms so you can try on the items you purchased online and sent to the store for curbside pickup. While you’re there, you can also make a return or have your garment tailored if needed; you can sit and enjoy a beverage, work with a personal stylist, even get your nails done.
This “hybrid store” concept is being tried by several of the giants. Amazon purchased Whole Foods, Fedex purchased Kinkos … we want the familiarity of the big box store and the convenience of online shopping, so companies are developing a hybrid of both experiences for us.
Although it’s hard to say if brick and mortar stores will ever go away completely, the trend is definitely steering away from mega-sized retail buildings with the help of online purchasing.