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Nordstrom: How the long-established retailer is winning over new fans

The Byrdie Beauty Lab powered by Nordstrom retail

Nordstrom is at it again. The retailer that’s launched some of the most interesting pop-ups this year has linked up with Byrdie, the digital beauty publication and community owned by Clique Brands, to bring the latter’s “editorial community to life through an immersive beauty pop-up, Byrdie Beauty Lab.”

The Lab is “a place to experiment with beauty products, indulge in beauty treatments, and learn from the industry’s top professionals.”

It’s only open until December 15 at 393 Broadway in New York City. Holiday shoppers will be able to “touch, try and test over 200 products curated by Byrdie editors and play with the latest in skincare technology.”

Products on offer include the Trinity Facial Toning Device, Glopro’s Microneedling Regeneration Tool, Kiss Lip’s Plumping System and more.

All the products are available at Nordstrom and can be purchased within the lab through iPads on-site. And for those not able to get to NYC, the lab is shoppable online through Nordstrom’s e-tail site, although without the touch, try and test element, it’s not quite so interesting.

“The Byrdie Beauty Lab is the physical extension of our commitment to making beauty approachable, applicable and aesthetically inspiring, all while being one hundred percent shoppable,” says Faith Xu, editorial director of Byrdie. “Just as they shop at Nordstrom for the best products, our readers come to us for recommendations that have been tested, tried and approved by our Byrdie team.”

Debbi Hartley-Triesch, VP and Divisional Merchandise manager for Beauty at Nordstrom, said the retailer was “really intrigued by this partnership with Byrdie because of their curated lens and the unique beauty stories they tell. As customers are increasingly shopping with us online and in-store, we want to make the experience between the two as seamless as possible.”

While the lab is open to the general public, consumers need to RSVP for masterclasses to learn the tricks of the trade from hairstylists, skincare experts and make-up artists. On December 14, shoppers can head to the lab for a meet and greet with Jen Atkin, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Ouai. Other featured masterclasses include make-up, skincare and even business sessions with Indie Lee, Sunnie Brook, Joanna Vargas, Carisa Janes, Nam Vo and Katie Jane Hughes.

This beauty initiative is part of a year long series of in-store experiences and new launches that the traditional retailer has slowly been rolling out. All of these strategies show how Nordstrom is being proactive about competing in this more pressured retail landscape. Last month Nordstrom announced that it was teaming up with MoMA to make holiday gift shopping more fun this season. Through a design-centric gift shop called Pop-In@Nordstrom, the retailer is offering a range of cool gifts from the Museum of Modern Art’s MoMA Design Store. Each pop up, which is available in eight Nordstrom branches until January 7 even has a build-your-own box service, allowing customers to pick five out of 25-30 featured products for a total of $50. Featured items include Christmas cards, wrapping paper, twine, stamps, toys, beauty and more.

Then back in October Nordstrom announced it was diving deeper into inclusive sizing with its extended sizing initiative launching at its new Century City store. It also announced plans to roll out this strategy with inclusive sizing in-store experiences in 15 stores next year. And it caught the headlines back in September when it launched its new concept store in West Hollywood called Nordstrom Local which didn’t sell any product. Instead Nordstrom Local is all about reinforcing the brand’s luxury credentials and offering experience-based retail to its affluent customers. It has one styling suite and eight dressing rooms surrounding a central meeting space “where customers can sit comfortably, enjoy a glass of wine or beer, and chat with their Personal Stylists”.

“We know there are more and more demands on a customer’s time and we wanted to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their shopping needs. Finding new ways to engage with customers on their terms is more important to us now than ever,” said Shea Jensen, the retailer’s senior VP of customer experience who led the initiative.

It seems Nordstrom is better positioned than most for the future of retail.

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