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Nordstrom Rack: Big store, big deal

by Terry Boyd

Nordstrom Rack: Not fancy inside, but does that really matter?

It took multiple calls and serious bird dogging, but Megan Garvey, PR/Social Manager for Seattle-based retail giant Nordstrom, finally gave our Melissa Chipman the official confirmation late yesterday – Nordstrom Rack is opening at Shelbyville Road Plaza.

A big deal, because Nordstrom not only has top apparel brands we don’t have here now such as John Varvatos, Etro and Armani A/X, but has them at the Rack outlet stores at steep discounts.

It’s also a big building.

Nordstrom Rack will go into the long-vacant former Circuit City building on the east side of the open shopping center at 4400 Shelbyville Rd. in St. Matthews.

The 33,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack store is scheduled to open in fall 2013 and will be the retailer’s first location in the state.

A 33,000-square-foot store is pretty dang large – roughly the size of the largest T.J. Maxx stores here, which is the most similar apparel discount concept we have now in the Louisville market.

From the release:

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price retail division of Nordstrom, Inc., carrying on-trend merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50 to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices. Nordstrom Rack also offers a wide selection of apparel, accessories and shoes from many of the brands carried in Nordstrom stores. These items are purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack, with most at savings of 30 to 70 percent off. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to open a Nordstrom Rack in Louisville,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack. “We’ve been looking for ways to better serve our customers living in Kentucky who have been making the drive to visit us in Cincinnati and Indianapolis and look forward to taking care of them when we open this fall at Shelbyville Road Plaza.”

Tommy Edwards, Hagan Properties leasing agent, did not return calls for comment.

Shelbyville Road Plaza is on a roll, landing a number of big retail coups including a Trader Joe’s two years ago, as well as a Nike outlet store. Several local businesses have stores there including Quest Outdoors.

Insiders told us Hagan Properties had been in negotiations with Nordstrom for more than a year, with details for the final tenant finish the sticking point.

With the addition of Nordstrom Rack, the center is pushing over 80 percent occupancy, remarkable when you consider two years ago, the national retailers that were Shelbyville Road Plaza anchor tenants such as Circuit City and Borders Books were liquidating on an almost weekly basis.

As I posted two weeks ago, my family and I visited Nordstrom Rack stores in Chicago and I was frankly impressed at the selection and the prices. Obviously, with deep discounts, the store interiors won’t be mistaken for Ralph Lauren’s plush Michigan Avenue flagship store. But when you’re talking about getting a $1,200 Billy Reid leather jacket for $200 on the clearance rack, who cares, right?

About Nordstrom: Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 242 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores, 121 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one treasure&bond store and one clearance store. Nordstrom also serves customers through Nordstrom.com and through its catalogs. Additionally, the Company operates in the online private sale marketplace through its subsidiary HauteLook. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

About Hagan Properties: Hagan Properties is a full-service real estate development company specializing in the development, redevelopment, leasing, management and marketing of shopping centers and apartments in Kentucky. Founded in 1996, Hagan Properties has grown into a leading real estate developer in Kentucky. Hagan Properties currently owns some of the most desired shopping centers and apartment communities in the Louisville Metro Area.

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