It’s been quiet on the Nordstrom front ever since the Seattle-based retailer’s announcement of five locations in Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto, and if you’ve been antsy for an update, we’ve got one for you. At a retail conference in Toronto earlier this week, Nordstrom Canada president Karen McKibbin revealed some juicy tidbits that fans of the department store chain will be excited to hear.
First off, they’re hiring. The process has already begun in Calgary, where Nordstrom is on the hunt for the best of the best to ensure that their famed customer service is just as high quality in Canada as in their U.S. locations. That means assessing 400 candidates for every sales floor position, so if you want in, you’d better make sure you have your game face on and are ready to serve.
They’re also looking closely at the cross-border pricing issues that U.S. retailers that have set up shop in Canada in recent years have encountered. McKibbin said, “It appears there will be some differences on certain products – taxes, duties and other factors. We are going to do everything we can to minimize that, and I don’t want you to think that’s lip service. We are really hard at work at this problem now.” As shoppers who have seen shockingly significant price disparities, we’re happy to hear it.
The best piece of news, though, is that Nordstrom hopes to open another 3 to 5 stores and at least 15 Nordstrom Rack outlets in Canada, starting in 2015. If you’re not anywhere near the four cities announced to date, here’s hoping one of the new locations will be in your neck of the woods. And while Canada won’t have its own dedicated e-commerce site right away, we do have Nordstrom.com, which ships north of the border, to tide us over in the meantime.
Oh, and P.S. Nordstrom’s famous Half-Yearly Sale is currently underway.
Image via Retail Week
After months of speculation and prayers to the shopping gods, Nordstrom has (finally!) officially announced the opening of the company’s first four locations in Canada. The Seattle-based retailer held a press conference in Toronto today to outline its plans to partner with Cadillac Fairview on its first stores north of the border at Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Chinook Centre in Calgary, and Rideau Centre in Ottawa.
The Sherway Gardens location will be a newly-constructed store, while the others are former Sears sites that will be vacated this fall and renovated by Nordstrom. The new locations are tentatively scheduled to open as follows:
- Chinook Centre, Calgary: two levels, approximately 140,000 square feet in Fall of 2014
- Rideau Centre, Ottawa: two levels, approximately 157,000 square feet in Spring of 2015
- Pacific Centre, Vancouver: three levels, approximately 230,000 square feet in Spring of 2015
- Sherway Gardens, Toronto: two levels, approximately 138,000 square feet in Fall of 2016
Not soon enough by my measure, but we’ve waited this long already, so what’s another few years? For our patience, we may just be rewarded with a few more stores: Nordstrom also announced that it will continue working on further expansion opportunities for both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack (yes!) in Canada in the future.
Excited? You have good reason to be. Nordstrom was recently named the top American luxury retailer in a consumer survey, no doubt as a result of its legendary customer service. Between accepting a customer’s return of car tires that Nordstrom obviously doesn’t sell and driving to the airport to deliver packages accidentally left behind by a visiting shopper, popular tales of the department store chain’s exemplary customer service are both unbelievable and entirely true. In addition to its famously accommodating return policy, Nordstrom also price matches its competitors and throws very generous sales.
“It’s exciting to finally have this opportunity to better serve our Canadian customers closer to home and we can’t wait to open our doors,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom, Inc. in a press release. We can’t wait until you open your doors either, Nordstrom. And now with target dates officially announced, we can mark our calendars and start counting down the days!
Image via Retail Week
How’s that for foreshadowing? Just yesterday in our post about Jason Wu’s new contemporary line, Miss Wu, we lamented the lack of Nordstrom locations north of the border. Mere hours later, The Globe and Mail reported that Nordstrom is finalizing plans to open its first department stores in Canada in the next few years – not one, not two or even three, but four of them! This, my dear fellow Nordstrom fans, is a shopaholic’s dream come true.
According to “industry sources”, Nordstrom will be launching at Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Chinook Centre in Calgary and Rideau Centre in Ottawa, three of which are former Sears sites. The Seattle-based retailer is said to be awaiting approval of the expansion from its board of directors. The news has yet to be confirmed by either Nordstrom or Cadillac Fairview, but I’m already celebrating.
Rumour has it that Nordstrom is, not surprisingly, also keen to set up shop in both Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. However, with Sears uninterested in letting go of its TEC store and Yorkdale’s owners Oxford Properties reportedly insisting on a package deal with a Square One Shopping Centre location, this may not happen in the near term.
Nevertheless, the department store that recently topped a consumer survey of American luxury retailers – beating out Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and even Bergdorf Goodman, I might add – is coming to a Canadian city (hopefully) near you.
With it, Nordstrom brings a stellar designer list that at its U.S. locations includes everything from Gucci to Alexander Wang to Kensie; their incredibly generous Half-Yearly Sales and legendary Anniversary Sale featuring products exclusive to Nordstrom; a price matching policy I’ve had the pleasure of taking advantage of in the past (on a pair of Christian Louboutins, no less); and an unparalleled return policy with no time limit (seriously!). Essentially, Nordstrom is customer service at its finest, which will be a breath of fresh air in Canada’s luxury market. The Bay and Holt Renfrew, who will be directly affected by Nordstrom’s arrival, should take note.
I’ve been patiently waiting for years for a U.S. luxury department store chain to come north of the border, but suddenly Nordstrom can’t come soon enough. How excited are you, Canada? Because yours truly is on a high right now that’s usually only reserved for new shoe acquisitions.
UPDATE (Sept. 13, 2012):
The news has finally been confirmed! Read all the details of the new Nordstrom store openings in Canada here.
Image via Retail Week