Shoppers who love the product mix and prices of Nordstrom Inc.’s Anniversary Sale, but hate the crowds, can head to Trunk Club, which tested the sale last year, and is offering an expanded assortment at six Clubhouses. But only Trunk Club clients who are also Nordstrom cardholders will gain early access to the sale on July 10. The sale will open up to all Nordstrom cardholders on July 13 and prices will go back up on Aug. 5.
With its popularity and revenue potential, Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is a phenomenon like no other in retail. Nordstrom’s biggest event of the year, the Anniversary Sale features a selection of new fall items at 30 percent off. It’s held during the dog days of summer, a time when most department stores are filled with racks of clearance merchandise.
Last year was the first time the Anniversary Sale ventured outside of Nordstrom’s full-line stores for the test at Trunk Club, the business the retailer acquired in 2014. Clubhouses in Manhattan, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C., will host the sale, which will feature about 40 women’s brands and 30 men’s brands.
“Making Anniversary Sale accessible at Trunk Club is about serving customers on their terms, however they choose to shop, since Trunk Club is part of the Nordstrom family of companies,” a spokeswoman for the retailer said.
The Anniversary Sale shopping experience at Trunk Club will be vastly different from that of a Nordstrom unit. At the Madison Avenue Clubhouse in Manhattan, clients chat with their stylist at the bar in the lounge over coffee or a cold drink. Then they go to one of 12 fitting spaces to try on the items that were pulled expressly for them by their stylist.
“Clients love the personal attention. It’s very high-touch and high-service. Stylists will curate the Anniversary Sale for customers. We’re by-appointment only,” said Lindsay Cooperman, head of styling at the Madison Avenue Clubhouse, noting that the location employs 50 stylists.
“Last year was the first year to see how the client would respond to the sale,” said Caroline Mattingly, brand communications manager. “There’s a lot of buy-now-wear-now and a nod to fall pieces. The items hit on all the trends that are happening for summer and fall.”
During its first quarter conference call, chief financial officer Anne Bramman said, “Trunk Club is showing signs of improvement.” Copresident Erik Nordstrom added, “The team spent all of last year doing a pretty deep dive,” and making some changes to the business. “We think we can scale it.”
The Madison Avenue Clubhouse will be the only place in Manhattan for shopping the women’s Anniversary Sale until Nordstrom’s flagship opens in 2019. The new Nordstrom Men’s Store on West 57th Street will be holding the event. “The sale is a way for clients to flow through the Nordstrom family,” Cooperman said. “Some days a customer may want to go to a store or shop the dot.com. We’re proud to be a part of that.”