Vv Magazine‘s Vancouver editor Alexandra Gill gives you the inside scoop on why Vancouver Nordstrom Pacific Centre is poised to become a top-of-the-list high-end shopping destination.
The new Vancouver Nordstrom Pacific Centre launched on Wednesday night with the Opening Gala Red Carpet, a fashion show at the Vancouver Art Gallery and post-runway in-store soirée.
The sound of stilettos clacking across Howe Street was almost eclipsed by the collective sniff of Holt Renfrew Beauty Bar divas sneering down their upturned noses. The retail competitor’s infamously snobbish staff has good reason to be nervous. (As for Hudson’s Bay? Well, quite honestly, when was the last you time you could even find a customer service representative on the floor? The downtown ghost store has long been seriously understaffed.)
When Nordstrom officially opens today, it will be the third store in Canada, joining Calgary and Ottawa, but is primed to become the top-volume flagship for the entire Seattle-based company.
“It’s going to be our full flagship experience,” president Jamie Nordstrom told BC Business magazine. “Whether it’s food and drink experiences or unique merchandise that you’re not going to find anywhere else in the city in addition to great service, we want this to be a store that people say, ‘Hey, if you’re going to go to Vancouver, you’ve got to go check out Nordstrom.’”
What does the “full flagship experience” entail? Here are just a few of the high-end reasons we can’t wait to go shopping.
Nordstrom is renowned for being the king of customer service. And even though no one responded to our private request for a gala ticket (ahem), we have been hugely impressed by the company’s social media presence. They promptly and pleasantly reply to every single compliment and complaint.
If you suddenly discover the need for a new pair of shoes or cocktail dress at midnight, the 24-hour “fashion emergency” service will assist – and deliver, if you insist. During regular store hours, amenities include free two-hour delivery within the downtown core, language ambassadors, a full-service concierge, coat check, private dressing rooms, cell phone charging stations, a Drybar blowout salon, onsite tailor and shoeshine stand.
In the beginning, Nordstrom was a shoe store. Its dedication to pampered toes continues to this day. The Vancouver store has five shoe sections, three of which are dedicated to women and include Canada’s first Balenciaga boutique. The Louboutin boutique is Canada’s second. (The original is located in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre Holt Renfrew.)
Luxe, Luxe, Luxe
Nordstrom Pacific Centre will carry more luxury bands than either of its Calgary and Ottawa stores, plus several dedicated boutiques for brands that Holt Renfrew lumps in with its regular department store offerings (including Balenciaga, Burberry, Céline, Chloé, Loewe, Longchamp, Saint Laurent Paris and Valentino). Delvaux, Belgium’s oldest fine leather luxury goods company, is an exclusive catch.
Nordstrom understands that shopping can be a tiring, often thirst-inducing pursuit. Thus, the store is considerately fitted with a full-service restaurant (Bar Verde), cocktail lounge (Habitant) and candy shop (Sugarfina sweets).
For some, a beauty bar is a candy shop unto itself. Nordstrom’s massive skincare and cosmetics department has us salivating. We are particularly excited about the retail launch of Mèreadesso, a Canadian brand specializing in single-step skincare solutions that was previously only available online.
Will you be visiting the Vancouver Nordstrom Pacific Centre? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.