The direct-to-consumer brand, which has been operating online or through ambassadors for a decade, will be fanning out to Nordstrom stores and its web site this week, the company revealed Monday.
Merchandise from Stella & Dot and sister brand Keep Collective will be available in 26 regional Nordstrom locations, as well as Nordstrom online. The selection will include core accessories including charm bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings, and will sit within Nordstrom’s jewelry department.
Interested in diversifying its channels, the accessories brand chose Nordstrom for its track record of partnering with limited-distribution brands, not to mention the luxury department store’s reputation.
“Nordstrom stands for personal service and offers trustworthy style,” Jessica Herrin, chief executive officer and founder of Stella & Dot, told WWD.
According to Herrin, the deal has been in the works for more than a year. Now that it’s here, the agreement represents the first significant change to Stella & Dot’s social-selling model.
The ceo describes the company as “incredibly digitally enabled,” with more than 30,000 ambassadors using the mobile app to create shoppable inspiration boards and then text them to customers. Building out all of those tech tools took more than $50 million in investments.
The retail partnership doesn’t represent a sea change in the business, as much as an expansion. The company still plans to sell socially, as well as hold pop-up trunk shows. December’s slate includes events across California, Illinois and Texas.
“With the ever-changing fashion landscape and desire to reach new customers in an accessible way, Stella & Dot saw the importance of experimenting with physical retail,” added Herrin, who’s counting on the increased exposure and physical presence, so shoppers can touch and feel the product.
The move comes during a roiling retail environment. The bankruptcies of traditional brick-and-mortar stores like Barneys New York act like modern-day business horror stories or cautionary tales, while e-commerce brands simultaneously rush to manifest themselves in the real world.
Recently retail-as-a-service company B8ta — a Macy’s-backed platform that offers physical spaces and traffic insights for digital brands — launched a concept called Forum for fashion and lifestyle. Forum just opened up its Melrose location in Los Angeles last week.