Although it may sound like an oxymoron, Nordstrom is launching a non-profit shop in NYC. The Seattle-based chain department store already opened an outpost earlier this year in Union Square, but up next is a two-level store where “all profits will go to nonprofit organizations,” a Nordstrom spokesperson told Women’s Wear Daily. “It’s really a chance to do something in a completely new way. It’s a completely new endeavor, not a mini-Nordstrom by any means.” This isn’t the first time a store has proposed such a drastically different financial model. In fact, Paris is home to Merci, a shop which donates the entirety of its sales to charitable outlets, and stocks the likes of Stella McCartney and vintage YSL. Merci installed a pop-up shop in GAP just this past fashion week.
Set to debut on Broadway between Grand and Broome (very prime Soho real estate), the concept store will bear no visible ties to Nordstrom – not a single sign or logo. So what does Nordstrom have to gain from the philanthropic extension? Well, brand cachet and loyalty, for one. Consumers are, fortunately, becoming increasingly aware of the stories behinds brands and labels. The more socio-environmental awareness, the better. The new store may not directly lead to a spike in profits for Nordstrom, but getting your customers to believe they’re giving back is priceless.