By September, Nordstrom Inc. expects to enable shoppers at its website to pick up product at the nearest store. This is a convenience that is gaining favor with a number of retail chains.
The luxury retailer is now testing the service with merchandise from its women's and men's apparel, women's shoes and cosmetics departments. Under the plan, Nordstrom will send customers a confirmation email within one hour of receiving the online order during business hours. After receiving confirmation, customers may pick up their merchandise in the customer service department of a store nearby.
The retailer stocks an online inventory of about 83,000 stock keeping units and operates 159 stores in 28 states. "We continue to find new ways to serve our customers better, no matter how they choose to shop with us," said Erik Nordstrom, president. "We've heard from our customers for some time now that they want this option and we're excited to be able to provide it for them."
Nordstrom recently took steps to integrate web and store technology. "We recently completed a major technology project to integrate the inventory platforms of our retail and online businesses," Nordstrom president, Blake Nordstrom, told analysts during a first quarter conference call. "Our vision is to have the breadth of Nordstrom's inventory investment from full line stores available to each customer at the point of sale. We believe this will improve customer service, as well as improve the efficient use of inventory, our largest ongoing investment."
This investment in technology is linked to a strategy of regaining sales momentum. The company reported a sales decline of 3.8 percent during the first quarter, compared with a year ago, and sales at stores open one year or more fell 6.5 percent.
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