Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Yesterday, Crain's reported that Nordstrom had signed a lease for 350 West Broadway, temporarily causing our brains to explode. A second story by The Real Deal didn't exactly help put the pieces back together again: According to their more detailed report, the unique Nordstrom concept shop would have "little affiliation to the department store brand." Also, as both papers explained, the store planned to give all profits to charity.
Today, Nordstrom spokeswoman Pamela Lopez helped clear up some of the confusion. Clearly, this wasn't going to be the Nordstrom flagship that's been prophesied for Manhattan for so many years now, but it turns out that it won't even be Nordstrom-branded. That's the bad news; the good news is that it still sounds pretty cool.
Lopez explains that the store won't have the word "Nordstrom" in the name or take the department store's credit cards—from a customer's point of view, it won't seem like a Nordstrom at all. It will, however, be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Seattle-based company, which will provide back-office support.
As for the charity angle, Lopez says it's simply something the brand wanted to try, based on a general spirit of philanthropy. Nordstrom hasn't worked out the details yet—it's still quite early in the planning process—so they're not yet sure how they'll pick which nonprofits benefit from their donations. They're also still figuring out a merchandising strategy, meaning there's not much to report about what, exactly, the store will carry. We'll be watching this one closely—look for updates once the company nails down more of the specifics.
· Charitable Nordstrom store slated for W. B'way [Crain's]
· Nordstrom to open philanthropic concept store in 350 West Broadway [TRD]
· Nordstrom to Open on West Broadway in Soho [Racked NY]