By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
If you are a fan of Nordstrom, or of quality clothing or of good deals, you’ve probably heard about the Nordstrom Rack that just opened in Tacoma.
The Nordstrom store has been one of the anchor stores at the Tacoma Mall for years, but as of September 14th, Tacoma has its own Rack.
For a little history, Seattle-based Nordstrom has 353 stores (340 in the USA, and 13 across Canada) – 16 of them in Washington state.
The first Rack opened in 1973 – first in the basement of the Nordstrom store in downtown Seattle, later moving to Westlake.
Nordstrom Racks have been at South Center for many years and at The Outlet (formerly the Supermall) in Auburn. For more details on the other shops which have far more than clothes, check out The Outlet in Auburn here: https://outletcollectionseattle.com/stores.
The Tacoma store, at the base of the escalator, up until just a few years ago, had a grand piano – and, even better, an actual living-breathing pianist – who took requests!
The Nordstrom Rack has the same quality products (and service) but on a more stripped down level.
No piano player, but some great deals.
Brands available at The Rack include Nike, Kate Spade New York, Sam Edelman, Eileen Fisher, Steve Madden, Levi’s, Ted Baker London, Rebecca Minkoff and Bobbi Brown.
Nordstrom Rack has something for every member of the family with items for women, men, children and a small, but growing category of home accessories.
Nordstrom Rack is the off-price retail division of Nordstrom, Inc., offering customers up to 70% off on-trend apparel, accessories and shoes for the whole family from many of the top brands sold at more mainstream Nordstrom stores.
Nordstrom Rack delivers the fashion customers are used to experiencing at Nordstrom stores, while providing access to many of the same brands at dramatic savings.
The Tacoma Rack is about 30,000 square feet, and was scheduled to open in 2020, but as you may have noticed, few projects went off as planned in 2020.
This store is the first Nordstrom store of any kind to open this year.
You’ll notice that there is no carpeting in this store – and all the display fixtures are on wheels.
You can expect racks, shelves, even entire departments, to shift around the store space depending on the season or holiday.
Tacoma’s Rack is at, but not in, the mall.
The Rack is part of the redevelopment in and around the site of the former Sears at the mall, which closed in 2018 and was demolished the following year.
In the past year or two, that whole corner of the Tacoma Mall has been under construction with concrete blocks and traffic cones in all kinds of unexpected places.
We should all appreciate the removal of all the construction debris and in its place, new businesses, even some, like Nordstrom, with long and deep roots in the Pacific Northwest.
If you are looking for other Nordstrom stores across North America or if you want to browse, take a look here: https://www.nordstrom.com/.
A little Nordstrom history
Nordstrom was founded in 1901 in Seattle by recent Swedish immigrant, John Nordstrom.
Before opening the store (which originally only sold shoes) John Nordstrom had purchased a 20 acre potato farm in Arlington and was part of the Klondike Gold Rush where, after two years, he struck gold and, after selling his claim for $13,000, established Nordstrom Shoes – which exclusively stuck to shoes until 1963.
The stores were family owned and operated until 1971, when Nordstrom went public (NASDAQ).
In 1995, Nordstrom opened their first store location in New York State.
Some of us might remember the flagship store in downtown Seattle.
In 1998, Nordstrom replaced its downtown Seattle store with a new primary location in the former Frederick & Nelson building across the street. A two-year renovation of this location was completed in 2016.
At 383,000 square feet, the downtown Seattle location is the chain’s largest store.
Nordstrom, after being on the list for twenty consecutive years, is a Hall of Fame member of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”.
2019 was the 25th year that Nordstrom was listed on the Fortune 500.
In short, Nordstrom is a classic Pacific Northwest, Scandinavian flavored, trend setting success story.