Nordstrom Inc. in September opened its fourth U.S. Faconnable unit in the tony Dallas shopping mall North Park Center, with a slightly different merchandise mix than its sibling stores.
The 5,000-square-foot shop, located near mall anchors Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s, carries more women’s merchandise. Industry sources expect the Dallas location to ring up $1,000 per square foot in annual sales.
There are over 50 Faconnable boutiques worldwide — generating $60 million wholesale — including units in New York; Beverly Hills, Calif., and Costa Mesa, Calif.’s South Coast Plaza. Nordstrom last year bought Nice, France-based Faconnable SA for $170 million. The Seattle-based retailer started selling the sportswear brand exclusively in the U.S. in 1989.
The company is also considering opening units in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Coral Gables, said Gail Cottle, president of Nordstrom Product Group, the division that oversees development of the Faconnable brand.
The Dallas store’s merchandise mix reflects the company’s blueprint for future expansion, which includes increasing the chain’s women’s wear offerings.
Outside of Dallas, the chain’s stores tend to carry more men’s wear, but at North Park Center, half of the selling space is dedicated to women’s apparel.
“This is the first Faconnable boutique that has devoted so much space to women’s apparel,” said Cottle. “Our female consumers have expressed a strong desire to find more merchandise within the stores, and we’re responding.”
Women’s offerings span the fashion spectrum, from casual sportswear to career wear to evening cocktail dresses. The store’s offerings include a donegal tweed blazer for $695, a short trenchcoat for $495, a lambskin dress for $795 and a wool car coat for $750.
“The hallmark of the Faconnable brand is timeless luxury — classic shapes and rich fibers,” said Jean-Pierre Benaym, director of the board of Faconnable. “We’re really trying to respond to women who want our product.”
Nordstrom executives said they are not concerned about Faconnable boutiques cannibalizing the sales of its department store units.
Located a few miles away from North Park Center is a Nordstrom at the Dallas Galleria. The retailer is also considering adding Nordstrom units elsewhere in the city, including one at North Park Center. “Putting a Faconnable boutique near a Nordstrom store only adds to the business the brand generates,” said Faconnable president Pierre Guerin. “It increases brand awareness, and we’re going deeper with the assortments at the boutiques.”
Although an American company now owns Faconnable, the decor of the stores still reflects the brand’s French lineage. Stone detailing and Grecian urns are just some of the Francophile features.
“When we open a boutique, our goal is to extend some of the properties of our French history and culture into each environment,” said Shawn McNally, Faconnable’s U.S. marketing manager. “By doing so, our customers gain a sense of the authenticity of the brand, its roots and personality. With each new boutique, we try to find a way to appropriately mix our French culture with the local community around us. ” 522 North Park Center, (214) 369-9611.