Dive Brief:

  • on Monday launched a new campaign to push gift sales throughout its banners. Dubbed “Let’s Go ,” the campaign highlights the retailer’s various gift , including exclusive, limited products released each day between Nov. 27 and Dec. 18 called “Daily Drops,” as well as a “gift hub” and appointment-based “gift scout” in 65 stores and online to help find gifts.

  • At its off-price Rack stores, Nordstrom also is also adding “gift shops” featuring popular holiday merchandise like “family jammies” and “gifts to go.” The retailer additionally plans to extend its usual curbside pickup service to 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 23 select Nordstrom stores from Dec. 16 through Dec. 24.  

  • A video and television spot promoting the “Let’s Go Gifting” campaign were directed and photographed by Theo Wenner, who has worked on campaigns for Chanel, Chloe and Topshop, as well as a video for the band The Black Keys.

Dive Insight:

Nordstrom is launching its holiday push in October, a sign that it’s leaving little to chance in a year when an early Thanksgiving means that shopping will soon begin in earnest. And after years of honing its omnichannel operations, the department store is among several retailers touting in-store pick-up of online orders.

In fact, several retailers this season are amplifying and in some cases expanding (at least temporarily) their in-store pickup of online orders, at least in part to smooth out the last delivery mile, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE’s Annual Holiday Retail Trends Guide. That report calls out Nordstrom’s buy-online/ship-to-store as a “more advanced concept.” Melina Cordero, CBRE global head of retail research, noted in a statement that such services, along with loyalty programs, “are designed to encourage and reward shoppers’ use of multiple channels.”

Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and Macy’s are similarly pushing in-store and curbside pickup options this season, which could help avoid the disappointment and anger customers feel when holiday deliveries are late. After all, on-time delivery of gifts is a concern for 91% of consumers this year, up 6% from 2017, according to delivery service Dropoff’s annual holiday survey

More advanced in-store pickup services give retailers with significant store fleets an advantage over Amazon. Plus, according to CBRE, it’s a way to offer assortments beyond what’s in a store, spur additional sales inside, and tamp down costs by shifting transportation to the customer. 

Nordstrom has long dedicated resources to its omnichannel sales and operations, and it enjoys strong loyalty among its customers, in part thanks to a reputation for elevated customer service. That may be why, unlike Macy’s and others, it plans to shutter its flagship and Rack stores on Thanksgiving Day, a move mitigated by the expectation that much of the shopping that weekend will take place online.

A retailer’s loyalty program will also serve as a differentiator, this year, CBRE also said. Once again, Nordstrom’s new “Nordy Club” is a stand-out, according to the report. Macy’s, DSW, Target, J. Crew and Kohl’s are among retailers also overhauling loyalty programs to expand their reach and reward big spenders.



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