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For once, the rumors were true: Nordstrom really is opening in Manhattan after years of searching for a space. The store will occupy the first seven stories of development company Extell's incoming mixed-use building at 225 W. 57th Street on the corner of Broadway.
Nordstrom announced the news at a press conference this afternoon on a sunny terrace hidden behind the second floor of its Soho concept shop Treasure & Bond. The company currently expects to open the store in 2018, which means it's going to be a while before many of the details are solidified. But here's what we've learned so far.
Right now, the tallest Nordstrom in the country stands five stories high, so the Manhattan flagship will be a record-breaker for the company. Nordstrom and Extell haven't selected an architect yet (they were actually planning to interview candidates this afternoon), so it's impossible to know what the store will look like, outside or in.
But Nordstrom execs do say they're planning to make the top floors interesting enough to draw in shoppers, and because they're working with so much space, they're thinking about setting up multiple different shopping environments within the store.
President of merchandising Peter Nordstrom told the assembled crowd, "It's our desire to make this the absolute best Nordstrom store there is." The company is counting on traffic from tourists and doesn't seem worried that 57th and Broadway is slightly off the traditional Fifth Avenue shopping footpath. "We wanted to be near where people are," he said, explaining that the store was never planning to open anywhere that would be considered pioneering.
As for Treasure & Bond and Union Square's off-price Nordstrom Rack, the new flagship shouldn't get in their way. Nordstrom says he's not worried about self-cannibalization: "Our best Rack stores tend to be near regular stores."
· Nordstrom Is Coming to Manhattan. Yes, It's Really Happening. [Racked NY]
· New Nordstrom Rumors Pinpoint W. 57th Street Location [Racked NY]