Nordstrom, Plus Size Inclusion, and The Future of Shopping

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, (and you should because I am am super fun!) then you saw some stuff that went down on Friday with me and the new Nordstrom at The Domain. Here’s what happened.

A friend of mine (an avid Nordstrom shopper and also plus size woman) and I attended the grand opening Beauty Bash before the opening of the store. We had a FABULOUS time trying new makeup brands, eating snacks, and taking selfies. It was amazing!!

Nordstrom-opening-me-and-annette

She’s my shopping and beauty ride or die.

STORE OPENS!! (People were civilized and filed in. This wasn’t Wal-Mart at 8pm on Thanksgiving.)

My friend and I went into the store and decided to forgo the bottom floor to check out the clothes on the top floor. We circled the entire floor twice to confirm our worst fears; THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PLUS SIZE ITEM IN THE STORE.

We asked an employee if we were missing something, and where the section was located. She was obviously flustered, and gave a few non-answers before confirming that there was no plus-size (called Encore) section in the store. My friend immediately asked to speak to a manager. I proceeded to a small seating area downstairs to start sharing our experience online.

nordstrom-opening-sadness

NORDSTROM, Y U MAKE ME SAD???

My friend was in an absolute rage, that eventually gave way to tears. We were both so sad and disheartened. Frankly, I was embarrassed. How could a store that I love so much, treat me like a second class citizen? How could they justify ignoring THE MAJORITY of women shoppers? And why did they have to ruin what had started as such a fun experience for me and my friend?

After a few minutes, we were joined by Fanya, the regional VP. Y’all, she was the embodiment of power, sophistication, beauty, brains, poise….. just everything. And she sat with us for about 40 minutes. Here are the main points on the conversation:

  • She took responsibility. She is a decision maker for the store, and she owned the fact that she made the choice to leave out plus sizes. She didn’t beat around the bush or pass the buck.
  • She laid it all out. She explained how the decision was made about the store sections, and why she chose to leave out plus sizes as well as the high end designers.
  • She cared deeply about our feelings. Seeing us both so hurt and upset, really got to her. She was completely engaged with us, and had Kleenex and water brought over. In my anger, I felt really fancy!
  • She never tried to downplay our feelings.
  • She wanted to make it right. We started tossing around ideas right then about how to make a plus size section happen that draws a steady customer base.
  • She made us promises and followed through. More on that below.

The main reason that plus sizes were not included in the store is because they don’t sell consistently. We talked about the catch-22 of it. From my perspective, the plus size section is sparsely populated with things I actually want, which means I can’t count on it to be in my regular shopping rotation. From her perspective, that lack of steady sales makes it hard to justify having the section. So I see it from both sides.

We talked a lot about the clothing that was often made available and how it doesn’t appeal to the everyday needs of plus size shoppers. She pulled up the site on her phone and had me show her what I would want to see in stores. We talked brands, styles, and ideas. She made notes, and we made plans. I felt like we were both really dedicated to making things happen. And you know what? She meant every word.

Today, I got a call from the store manager. She asked me to call her to set up a time to have lunch so we can start putting this plan into action. Friends, we’re going to make the plus size section a reality in Nordstrom!!

So many people have reached out wanting to know what happened, and where we go from here. Sooo……..

HERE’S WHAT I NEED FROM YOU

We’re going to start holding a monthly series of trunk shows, with different styles, brands, and types of clothes. We need YOU (and all of your friends!!) to come out, give feedback, share what you love and what you don’t, and do some shopping. The more feedback we get, the more we can build the best plus size section in the city. And hopefully, make it a blueprint for stores around the country!

If you are interested, please fill out THIS SURVEY (also embedded below). I’m making a mailing list just for these events, and I want to be able to reach everyone who’s interested to let y’all know what’s happening and how to stay involved. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share this with anyone whom you think would be interested. I’m going to be reaching out to everyone I know to get them on board so we can make this happen.

I was afraid to make waves, and I was afraid to stick my neck out. But this is too important. And I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to make it happen. Hats off to Nordstrom for always being open to new ideas to make their stores better for all of their customers. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!!

I love the internet! Do you love the internet? Well, be sure to stalk me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat (@slavetofashion1) for more mayhem and foolishness!

 

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  • I was spoiled growing up in Chicago with fabulous Nordstrom stores. I definitely want in on this as I was really looking forward to having my Nordy’s back! (Also, kindly request that trunk shows happen on the weekend. Weeknights are out for me.)

    • Noted! I want to make them as accessible as possible for everyone, and I definitely want you there 🙂

  • Kat Albert

    I’m against separate plus size sections…why can’t they just order clothes that go to bigger sizes. I don’t want dowdy old lady clothes.