The golden gates of heaven opened before my very eyes last Friday as I stepped foot inside the new Nordstrom at Kenwood Towne Centre. Perfectly primped earth angels greeted me as I entered, and they welcomed me to Nordstrom. (As if I didn’t already feel right at home!)
It was media day last Friday as they offered journalists and camera crews a sneak peak inside the nearly-ready Nordstrom store. They showed us their departments, explained their unique concepts and shared their laundry list of new couture brands being introduced to the Cincinnati market with their arrival.
It was so nice getting this intimate view inside a store so grandiose in stature and reputation. On one hand, I wish I got this kind of in-depth understanding of every store I like to shop at. But on the other hand, it makes sense that this unique experience was conceived and provided by the path-paver in retail customer satisfaction.
>>>random fun fact for the day<<<
According to Wikipedia: Nordstrom is well-known for its customer service, so much so that several urban legends have appeared regarding the store. One of the best known legends is purported to have taken place at the Anchorage store soon after its 1975 purchase from Northern Commercial Company. A customer, unaware than the store had changed hands, returned a set of tires. Although Nordstrom had never sold tires since opening, it was determined not to be the fault of the customer the store had changed hands, and the return was accepted. Many Nordstrom customers will attest that Nordstrom will refund items at any time purchased from Nordstrom stores.
>>>now back to your regularly scheduled blog<<<
They said this kind of tour wouldn’t be offered to the public (I’m sure they would if you asked!), so I will share the five biggest things that stood out for me.
#1: All in a Name
I think the biggest thing (other than their superior customer service) Nordstrom brings to Cincinnati is their awe-inspiring entourage of high-end designers. They’ll have your Burberry and Michael Kors, of course, but they’ll also have Jimmy Choo, Dolce&Gabbana, Alice And Olivia, Donna Karan Collection and Chloé. There is also one label completely exclusive to Cincinnati, and that’s Jo Malone.
#2: Cincinnati’s New Beauty Mark
On the cosmetic side, brands will include Chanel, Nars, Dior, Bare Escentuals, L’Occitane and MD Skincare (as well as your usual department store brands like Estée Lauder). And if you’re looking to pair your pucker with with the perfect shade, you’ll find it here, as this store will offer 1,600 lipstick shades!
For all you beauty buffs out there, make sure you head to Nordstrom early (8am) for the “Beauty Bash” on Opening Day (Sept. 25). Outside of the store will be a hot spot as Nordstrom hosts a cosmetics and fragrance event at the first floor east mall entrance. Nordstrom beauty advisors will offer complimentary cosmetics and fragrance consultations. Beauty and Fragrance Director Julianne De’Chaump will also be available to discuss the hottest trends for fall. Nordstrom’s doors will officially open at 10am with a special “opening ceremony” deep-rooted in the company’s tradition.
#3: Shoephoric Selections
When it was founded in 1901, Nordstrom was actually a shoe store in Seattle. And the retailer has managed to stay true to its roots. The Kenwood Nordstrom will boast five — yes, five — shoe departments. Three for women, one for men and one for kids. I think we can all see who’s their favorite shopper! hehe!
#4: Big Heart for Little Ones
As we entered in the kids’ department something on the floor caught my eye. One of the floor tiles showcased a dinosaur that had been carefully painted by tiny hands. Then I noticed more! Apparently, in February, 150 local children gathered at the Cincinnati Zoo to paint animal-themed tiles that now adorn the floors of the entire “Kids Wear” department.
But Nordstrom’s tenderness for tots goes further that the floor. The retailer not only offers children-sized couture and reduced-height racks so kids can participate in the browsing fun, but they also host a bevvy of learning sessions free for customers, such as — my favorite — a “shoe tying” learning session. How cute is that?
#5: It’s in the Details
Coming up with this last bullet point was difficult. There were so many finite details that just made me smile. I encourage you to take the time to look around the store and just appreciate all the thought that went into making it a reality. Everything from the original artwork behind the cash registers, expert prosthesis fittings in lingerie, $2.50 shoe shines, on-site tailoring and the unique design concepts in each of their dressing rooms.
The theme of each department carries through to the changing rooms (watch the below Webcast for more information on that!). They even have a “girlfriend’s changing room” where up to six or seven women can change together if they’d like. How fun would that be if you’re shopping with girlfriends?
They also have a unique concept where they separate the departments by lifestyle and also type of designer. For example, they have a special department for their up-and-coming designers called “Via C.”
Everything at Nordstrom is done with class and a smile. And, as much as I love Cincinnati’s homegrown boutiques, I can honestly say that Nordstrom is making a huge effort to be community oriented and deep rooted in the Tri-State’s culture — as much as a big box retailer with 177 U.S. stores located in 28 states can be!
I’m counting down the minutes until this prestigious store officially opens! No, literally, I am. We have 11,435 minutes to go in case you were wondering.