Most of the discussion on RetailWire about off-pricers centers on TJX and Ross Stores, but attention should be paid to Nordstrom Rack too. Nordstrom is stepping up the pace of store openings and seems to have a well-differentiated formula. Here’s my comment:
Rack stores have some of the hallmarks of Nordstrom stores — plenty of “better” apparel and especially dominant shoe departments compared to the competition — but nobody would mistake the presentation in these stores for a full-line Nordstrom store. I would rank the “store experience” somewhere between a TJMaxx and an Off 5th store, where Saks has taken a more distinctive position on presentation and product development.
Rack outlet stores are an important growth vehicle as Nordstrom continues to be very deliberate in the expansion of its anchor department stores. And the credibility of the Nordstrom brand allows the outlet concept to expand into virtually any city, even those who will never see a full-line store being built.