Nordstrom is getting hip with its anniversary sale, bringing celebrities and other innovations into the marketing campaign for the first time.

The group includes actresses Melissa McCarthy and Jessica Alba; model Rhi Blossom; Emily Schuman of the Cupcakes and Cashmere blog; Dallas Wings point guard and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Skylar Diggins; activist and editor Amy Sall; YouTube star Joey Graceffa, and bandleader Jon Batiste of  The Late Show. The celebrities are styled by Alex White and photographed by Cass Bird.

Nordstrom’s anniversary sale, the retailer’s biggest event of the year, launched today and runs through Aug. 7. Among the innovations to the event this time around is that several brands — including Alexander Wang, Alex and Ani, Madewell — have been added, and a daily anniversary outfit of the day, or #OOTD photo will be posted on Nordstrom’s corporate Instagram account. The images will also appear in Nordstrom e-mail and on nordstrom.com, and hang tags will call out #OOTD merchandise. Also, Nordstrom’s Seattle flagship will test an elevated visual display, with LED screens streaming #OOTD posts. Nordstrom is also utilizing Snapchat with Geofilters at select U.S. malls, Snap Ads and influencer takeovers.

The Nordstrom anniversary sale is an industry phenomena, not only because of its popularity, discounts and revenue potential, but because of its unique format that hasn’t yet been copied by competitors. Retailing in July is typically in the doldrums and most department stores have racks of clearance and no new merchandise. But Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is not a promotion or clearance. New fall merchandise, as well as summer merchandise, is stocked just for the event, with the retailer getting new products from vendors when department stores typically don’t get them, and Nordstrom achieving a surge in volume in an otherwise soft sales period.

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