With each passing day, brick and mortars are losing foot traffic to e-commerce. With the so-called “retail apocalypse in full swing, it might feel like legacy stores are just a few bad quarters from shuttering their doors.
Contrary to popular belief, not all retailers are struggling. In fact, higher-end and luxury department stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue have broken from the pack to distance themselves from the carnage and emerged as thriving retailers that are successfully reinventing and retailoring the shopping experience.
Click through to read more about how these high-end retailers are reinventing themselves to be successful.
The brilliant minds at Nordstrom saw the future of digital marketing and leveraged apps like Instagram and its network of influencers to become the preeminent expert when it comes to social media marketing. Nordstrom’s affiliate network is free to join and offers influencers the ability to make monthly commissions based on eligible sales generated by referral traffic.
Open Loop Credit Cards
Store credit cards aren’t new, but Nordstrom introduced an open loop or anywhere credit card. Building on the Nordstrom Rewards card, the Nordstrom Rewards Visa Platinum and Visa Signature cards can be swiped to earn two points per dollar at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club, plus one point earned per dollar spent everywhere else Visa credit cards are accepted. To perpetuate the cycle of Nordstrom spending, rewards can be converted into Nordstrom notes.
Mobile Payment Infusion
Barneys and Bloomingdale’s have captured the intentions of impulsive and tech-savvy shoppers with Apple Pay integration for immediate checkout.
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Wellness looms largely among the generation that practically patented the selfie. For millennials, it’s all about optics and aesthetics on social media and in real life. As a nod to the booming wellness and beauty-obsessed industries, London-based Harrods jumped on the trend and created an in-store Wellness Clinic. Services are certainly cost prohibitive, but range from a 45-minute nose reshaping using hyaluronic acid gel fillers for around $1,300 to bro-tox or male wrinkle smoothing starting at around $650.
Play to Strongly Held Millennial Values
Millennials remain steadfast in their social sensibilities. Millennials hold brands and companies to an expectation to do the socially responsible thing and create positive global change. Selfridges, a chain of high-end department stores in the U.K., launched its Project Ocean campaign in 2011, which draws attention to the condition of the oceans. Alignment with social causes provides greater appeal to millennial shoppers and elevates the company’s goodwill profile.
Repurpose the In-Store Experience
Nordstrom rolled out Reserve Online and Try in Store to change things up. The free service is a function on the Nordstrom app that allows customers to reserve items and try them on in-store two hours later. The retailer also offers curbside pickup for shoppers in a hurry.
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Neiman Marcus introduced the “memory mirror” created by MemoMi in select stores in 2015 as a play to revolutionize the dressing room experience. The high-tech mirror provides shoppers with a 360-degree digital view of how chosen garments look on them.
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Side-Stepping Post Office Returns
Overspending on online orders only to return superfluous items to the store or through the mail is becoming the norm. Nordstrom spotted the trend and embraced the change by opening an inventory-free store in Los Angeles in 2017. Customers can pick-up and return orders to the location, but instead of shopping, they can stay for manicures, drinks or tailoring services.
Whitehot direct-to-consumer brands like Allbirds shoes and Casper mattresses have found homes in Nordstrom pop-up shops, which helps the stores benefit from a digitally-minded millennial consumer audience.
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Lean Into Discounts
Although it’s true that high-end brands operate on exclusivity and cachet, Nordstrom is proof positive that there’s still money to made by discounting merchandise. Nordstrom Rack, the brand’s off-price retailer for over 40 years, contributes to robust earnings to boost the bottom line.
Departing From Giant Big Box Stores
New York City has the power to price out people with its sky-high rents — retailers are no exception. Neiman Marcus announced last year its plans to downsize from its 250,000-square-foot department store. This move was made to trim operating costs and play to the wants of customers who seek a more bespoke and intimate shopping experience.
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