Article Title: Nordstrom Is the First Retailer That Actually Understands What We Want
Author of Article: Thomaï Serdari
Date of article: September 15, 2017
Nordstrom Local is a new concept in personalized retailing developed by Nordstrom to address multiple customer pain points. Rather than selling clothes, the Local (the first location is in Los Angeles) provides personal stylists to help pull together outfits for customers to try on while getting a manicure and enjoying drinks in the in-store bar. Tailors are on-site to make alternations. Clothing and other merchandise can be purchased through any retail channel with convenient pickups and returns at the Local.
For Nordstrom Local to be successful, its retail operations must focus on delivering “fabulousness” to its customers instead of a transactional point of sale experience.
1. What are the challenges of retail operations in today’s business environment? How is Nordstrom responding to these challenges?
Guidance: Topics might include competition from e-tailers, inability to make rapid changes in response to changing customer wants and needs, the need to build loyalty to the brand and a relationship with customers.
2. Explain the importance of a ‘people focus’ for JIT systems. In what ways can JIT be applied in Nordstrom Local?
Guidance: Nordstrom Local is a small inventory-free store which will present challenges to the way “inventory” should be managed. Explain the philosophy and key elements of JIT with a focus on the role of people in its success.
3. Describe the concept and objectives of focused factories. Does Nordstrom Local exemplify a focused factory? Explain.
Guidance: Nordstrom Local is a new “delivery” format of retailing that captures the best of both physical and online worlds. As such, it can be used to discuss capacity planning and the difficulty of measuring capacity in a multi-channel facility, aligned with the concept of a focused factory.