Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Nordstrom Rack Is Still A “Best Buy”

I don’t know about you, but the inner tech nerd in me had more than a few moments of heart palpitations a few years back when it was announced that the Best Buy on Skokie Blvd. at the Shops of Orchard Place was closing. My panic was all but forgotten last July when Nordstrom let it be known that it would be opening a Nordstrom Rack in its place. I’m a pretty loyal Nordstrom shopper, so this was quite the exciting news to me.

Even more exciting? Nordstrom Rack recognized my loyalty by inviting me to a “Preview Night” for the new Skokie Rack, two days before the store would open to the public. Obviously, my anticipation for the grand opening was shared with many other dedicated Skokie Nordstrom shoppers, as the invitation-only line to get in stretched almost all the way to DSW before the opening of the doors.

Upon entering, we were greeted with thunderous applause (that went on seconds too long, almost long enough to be a bit embarrassing) by what I’m assuming are all of the employees that have been hired for this location. Once our invitations were checked, we were granted access to the largest Nordstrom Rack I have ever seen. If you are also a loyal Nordstrom shopper, you already know that the “Rack” is never a small store, but to my delight, this new store seems to occupy the entire space that Best Buy inhabited. It’s massive. Almost to the point that it’s a bit overwhelming….especially in the shoe section, where there are no fewer than 4 rows, 6 shelves high for each size. Talking with a store employee, I was told that this location is a whopping 36,000 square feet!

While shopping, mini sliders and tie-dyed grilled cheese triangles were tray passed, with 4 different Goose Island beers and champagne to wash them down. For those of us who don’t drink, mini private labeled water bottles were also offered.

The employees couldn’t have been more welcoming and gracious. It seems to me that it’s always a competitive race to get a shopping cart at the Nordstrom Rack’s I have previously visited, but employees were walking around offering them up to shoppers (like me!) that had forgone the competition in favor of getting to shop more quickly. As usual, the prices, up to 70% off regular Nordstrom pricing, and selection were amazing. The makeup section was larger than normal, and the handbag selection showcased all the top brands.

Checking out was quick and painless, as there are many more checkout lines than usual, most likely based on the sheer size of the store and number of people that can shop the store at any time. I already cannot wait to go back. And for real - who doesn’t love a bargain?

Planning a trip to the new Rack? Tweet them at @Skokie_Rack and let them know how much you enjoyed the new store!