Nordstrom, the only major department store that isn’t in Manhattan (and as a Seattle native, one of my favorites), continues to tease us by opening Treasure & Bond–a charity store in SoHo that also happens to be the brain child of philanthropist Catie Marron and Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, WWD is reporting.
Since the proceeds from the store will be going to different New York-based children’s charities (Wintour and Marron chose the first round), Nordstrom won’t be making a profit from this and you won’t find the Nordstrom name anywhere in the store. It’s more of an experiment and a way to make connections and to gauge response.
“Anything we can do to make us better and more informed is important,” CEO of Marketing Pete Nordstrom told WWD. “By virtue of the fact that Treasure & Bond has a philanthropic aspect, it connects us to the community.”
It’s a smart move–especially if one of those connections is already Anna Wintour–she’s kind of the most important one. They also have Jeffrey Kalinsky–owner of the successful Atlanta and Meat Packing boutiques and Nordstrom’s executive vice president of designer merchandising.
“If we opened something like this, and had it be Nordstrom in some way, it would end up disappointing — people would show up and say, ‘What’s this?’” Nordstrom told the Times. The retailer wants to figure out how New Yorkers shop.
According to WSJ, who tracked Nordstrom’s location hunt, they’ve been having trouble finding a location where they wouldn’t have to compromise on size and design–the light-filled, airy aesthetic they’re known for will be hard to come by in Manhattan. The most likely site right now is west side development Hudson Yards.
Nordstrom will do well regardless of where it’s located–mostly because of a level of service that I’d argue is unparalleled even in Manhattan. And with the support of people like Wintour and Kalinsky and two ways to gauge Manhattan retail (Treasure & Bond and the disappointing Nordstrom Rack), it sounds like they’re on the right track.