Nordstrom's Canadian Locations: Not Unusually Small, At All

Nordstrom, Walnut Creek CA. Image:
Some readers express concern that Canada's Nordstrom stores will be 'smaller than American stores' and that Canada's Nordstrom will be a 'poor cousin' to American stores. Our Nordstrom insider says 'not so'. 

So far Nordstrom has signed leases for four Canadian locations. To recap, they will be the following sizes:
1) Downtown Vancouver: 228,000 square feet
2) Calgary Chinook Centre: 140,000 square feet
3) Toronto Sherway Gardens: 138,000 square feet and
4) Ottawa Rideau Centre: 157,000 square feet

Compared to the 350,000 square foot San Francisco Westfield location, 285,000 square foot Bellevue Square (Bellevue, Washington) location and the 282,000 square foot Paramus, New Jersey store, Canada's stores might seem small. But these large American locations are all "older" Nordstrom stores (opened in the 80's and 90's), while newer Nordstrom stores are typically smaller and more 'efficiently' laid out, according to our insider. 

We did some research and found Nordstrom store sizes for all (Non-Rack) stores opened since 2007. And here they are:  

Newark, Delaware: 127,000 sq ft
St. Louis Galleria, Missouri: 149,000 sq ft
Nashville, Tennessee: 145,000 sq ft

Santa Monica, California: 132,000 sq ft
Newport Beach (Fashion Island), California: 143,000 sq ft
Braintree, Massachusetts: 155,000 sq ft

Cherry Hill, New Jersey: 143,000 sq ft
Peabody, Massachusetts: 143,000 sq ft
Cincinnati, Ohio - 144,000 sq ft

Thousand Oaks, California: 145,000 sq ft
Aventura Mall, Florida: 172,000 sq ft
Naples, Florida: 81,000 sq ft (resort store, statistical outlier)
Ala Moana Honolulu, Hawaii: 211,000 sq ft
Indianapolis, Indiana: 134,000 sq ft
Burlington, Massachusetts: 143,000 sq ft
Clinton, Michigan: 122,000 sq ft
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 143,000 sq ft

Denver (Cherry Creek Mall), Colorado: 142,000 sq ft
Novi, Michigan: 172,000 sq ft
Natick, Massachusetts: 154,000 sq ft

So from 2007 until now, Nordstrom has opened only one store over 200,000 square feet (in Honolulu). The Vancouver, BC store will therefore be the largest Nordstrom store to open in years, only to be size-trumped by the 2017-18 opening of the Manhattan Nordstrom (285,000 sq ft) and (likely) the opening of a Downtown Toronto flagship store, which would be 'Nordstrom's Canadian flagship location' according to our insider. 
Image: Nordstrom
Furthermore, proposed new Nordstrom store sizes include: 

Glendale, California (replacement location, new-build): 135,000 sq ft  (Opening 2013)
Jacksonville, Florida: 124,000 sq ft  (Opening 2013)
San Juan, Puerto Rico: 138,000 sq ft   (Opening 2014)
Houston (Woodlands Mall), Texas: 138,000 sq ft  (Opening 2014)
Milwaukee (Wawasota), Wisconsin: 140,000 sq ft  (Opening 2015)

Our insider says that Nordstrom is able to build smaller stores because it has mastered 'efficiencies'. At the same time, smaller Nordstrom stores carry fewer departments and amenities as larger locations, including spas, multiple restaurants, wedding salons and other 'extras'. Downtown Toronto and Vancouver Nordstrom stores may include all the bells and whistles found in, say, Nordstrom's Chicago Michigan Avenue store, while our smaller locations will be less comprehensive but still 'beautiful stores with superior customer service' according to Nordstrom. 

Despite their smaller sizes, Canada's Nordstrom stores will include most American departments. In the coming weeks we'll be profiling these departments so that you, the reader, are a Nordstrom insider by their Canadian arrival. Keep reading!

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