Nordstrom tries clothing store with no clothes

Chain follows example of Lululemon, Bonobos

What about a store with no merchandise?

That’s the idea Nordstrom announced Monday. It will be testing it in a West Hollywood location, set to open on Oct. 3.

The store, named Nordstrom Local, will differ from the Nordstroms most of us are used to visiting in a few different ways. Instead of being around 140,000 square feet as with most locations, for example, it will be a compact 3,000. It’ll also include wine, beer and espresso for shoppers.

Most notably, it won’t contain any clothes for sale. The stores will include some for shoppers to try on, but there will be no inventory to purchase on site.

Stylists will be on hand to guide shoppers to a personalized wardrobe, which customers can then order online to be delivered to the store that same day. Or the stylists will visit one of the nine local traditional Nordstrom locations to retrieve the purchase.

The idea is to keep shoppers from feeling overwhelmed by too much choice.

Once the clothes arrive, tailors are available on-site to make alterations.

Seattle-based Nordstrom isn’t the first to try this. Men’s clothing retailer Bonobos got its start by opening brick-and-mortar locations where men would be fitted for clothing they would later order online. This summer Wal-Mart purchased it.

As the Economist pointed out, many other stores are attempting to lure customers with more than their own clothing. Lululemon, for example, hosts yoga classes while Louis Vuitton locations act secondarily as art museums, displaying rare pieces.

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