Canadian Nordstrom Stores Expected to Have ‘More Contemporary’ Interiors

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Recently we spoke to a Nordstrom insider about its high revenue expectations for its new Vancouver BC store. Our insider also discussed the store’s interiors and how some shoppers have complained that American Nordstrom store interiors appear a bit ‘dated’. We provided feedback that we feel the same way, noting Nordstrom’s ceiling tiles and lighting appear very mid-1980’s, not to mention its rather bland beige floor tiles.

Men’s Sportswear, Nordstrom Westfield San Francisco (notice the dated ceilings, lighting, carpet and tile). Image: Nordstrom Facebook Page.

Our insider informs us that they expect Canadian Nordstrom’s to appear at least marginally ‘more contemporary’ than American stores. The Canadian consumer is sophisticated, at least in Vancouver and Toronto. Store interiors in Holt Renfrew and (more soon to come) Hudson’s Bay stores are sleek and contemporary. Nordstrom “can’t be a new player that looks old” according to our insider, and this was reiterated by a Toronto-based retail expert who we spoke to on the phone yesterday afternoon.

Our Toronto retailing expert is a professor at the University of Toronto. He states that he expects Nordstrom’s flooring and ceilings to reflect a similarly ‘more modern’ look seen in some European department stores and in more contemporary Neiman Marcus stores. Smooth ceilings, stone flooring and bright lighting are what international shoppers are coming to expect and this is one of the core clients expected at Canadian Nordstroms. He thinks Nordstrom will try out a ‘new look’ for Canadian stores that will be reflected in its 2018-opening Manhattan store, which will include whopping 25-foot ceilings.

Getting better: Collectors (women’s designer) + Marni + Gucci ‘hard shops’, Walnut Creek California. Image:

Our Nordstrom insider notes that Nordstrom has been making modifications to store interiors over the past few years to make the chain appear a bit more upscale and modern. Black accents have been used more readily in some stores, including its recently finished Salt Lake City and Nashville stores. ‘Hard-shops’, which are branded boutiques with signature store interiors, have also been introduced in the past decade where some Nordstrom stores now include boutiques for Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Marni, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, and others. The ‘black accents’ look was first experimented with with the renovation of its Topanga store in Canoga Park, California, and was further refined with the opening of its Northpark store in Dallas, Texas.

Still getting better: Collectors dept at Nordstrom, Nashville, including Gucci and Chanel boutiques. Image: bradles flickriver

Our Nordstrom insider also notes that its women’s designer department known as ‘Collectors’ includes a sleek interior of marble floors and smooth ceilings. This ‘look’ may be adopted in other departments and the marble has become a signature of the store’s designer handbags departments, for example.

We will be further researching Nordstrom’s interiors and especially what Canadian Nordstrom stores will look like. Watch this site as well as our twitter for updates. We’re @retailinsider_ on twitter, and we often tweet insider info not published on this website.

Nordstrom website:



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