Canadian Nordstrom Store Layouts: Insider Info

Salon Shoes (featuring Miu Miu). Image:
One of our Nordstrom insiders is involved with Canadian store planning. Our insider provided us some information about the layout of Canada's first four Nordstrom stores. First hint: Shoes will take a substantial square footage in each store.

Retail Insider is going to provide selected Nordstrom store details in the next couple of weeks because 1) We're too busy to do it on one long article and 2) We want you to keep coming back to read our website.  And believe us it will be worth it. In January our website will look substantially different and will include new features including podcasts, for example.

Today we'll have a brief peek at the layout of the Toronto Sherway Gardens store. Sherway's Nordstrom store will be two floors and will be about 138,000 square feet. The store is considered to be a 'satellite' store eventually complimenting a Downtown Toronto flagship location that will be announced after negotiations are completed. The Sherway store's layout will be fairly 'typical' of a Nordstrom store, to be explained below.
ebar at Nordstrom. Image:

Ground Level:

The ground-level of the Sherway Nordstrom will include a small, quick-food and coffee concept called 'ebar' at the store's mall entrance. As one enters the store, women's shoes will be presented in three departments. Next to e-bar will be a department called 'Salon Shoes', which includes designer footwear such as Valentino, Gucci, Prada and others. Two other adjacent women's shoe departments will be beside it ('Women's Shoes' and 'Brass Plumb Shoes' - both less expensive), all serviced by a substantial storage area behind.

The ground level will include two women's handbags departments; one for 'regular' bags and one for 'designer handbags'. Designer handbags may include Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurent and others (it's too soon to say). Jewelry and small accessories will be nearby.

A typical cosmetics department will be included on the ground-floor. Nordstrom cosmetics departments are typically densely-packed and adhere to a somewhat uniform look.

Menswear will be located on the ground floor. Men's shoes will be an important part, to be located next to women's shoes (to share storage space). Menswear will include departments at various prices including 'The Rail' (casual/denim), men's clothing, men's 'furnishings', men's sportswear and selected pieces from men's 'designers' department, to be revealed at a later date.

Childrenswear and shoes will also be located on the ground floor.
Collectors, Fashion Valley San Diego. Image:
Second Floor:

Nordstom's Sherway second-floor will include several women's departments. 'Collectors' is the name of Nordstrom's designer women's department, typically carrying such designers as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta and others. St. John womenswear may be carried in its own department, and licensing negotiations for the brand are underway.

Other women's departments will include 'Via C' (contemporary designers), Savvy (contemporary sportswear), t.b.d (trendy contemporary), Individualist/Point of View/Studio 121 (all less-expensive women's departments), as well as dresses, coats, lingerie, hosiery, sleepwear, and possibly larger-sizes and petites (known as 'Encore' and 'Petite Focus', respectively).

Our Nordstrom insider noted that the Sherway Gardens store may be less-well stocked than some American Nordstrom stores due to 1) its relatively small size and 2) Canadian designers are tightly distributed and many Nordstrom designers already have licensing contracts with either Hudson's Bay or Holt Renfrew. So we can expect a slightly different Nordstrom store in Canada, though our source confirms customer service and shoes will keep Canadian shoppers coming back to Nordstrom, Sherway Gardens.

Retail Insider will post regular articles about what is to come with Nordstrom's entry into Canada. We've also interviewed a prominent retail analyst who says Nordstrom has good things but also challenges in the Canadian market. It will be worth the wait. Keep reading and stay tuned!

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