Thursday will be a big day for the Warwick Mall, as they welcome Nordstrom Rack to their list of more than
80 newly designed retail stores, 12 restaurants and 12-screen Showcase Cinema.
Pre-opening festivities for the store, which offers a selection of on-trend, of-season apparel for men, women and children from designer brands available in Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com with most at savings of 30 to 70 percent off, begins that morning at 7 and continues through opening at 9 a.m.
Between the hours of 7 and 9, 20 golden hangers will be hidden throughout the store and will be redeemable that day for $100 worth of merchandise.
“It’s a fun opening day activity,” said Colin Johnson, spokesperson for Nordstrom. “There will be clues for the hangers available on Twitter, so we encourage all of our customers who might me interested in that to follow us at @Warwick_Rack.”
In addition to the 20 golden hangers, the store will host a “Race Through The Rack” sweepstakes, which they hold before most Nordstrom Rack store openings. Customers can enter a drawing to win a 90-second, $2,000 shopping spree. The winner’s name will be drawn and announced at 8:30 a.m. before the store opens. Participants must be present to win.
Johnson, who noted that this will be the first Rack for Rhode Island, along with store manager Dan Neri, is looking forward to Thursday. The mall is located at 400 Bald Hill Road.
“I’m very excited about the opening,” Neri said during a brief interview at the store yesterday morning. He has been with the company for 13 years, starting as a stock person at the full-line Providence Place Mall location, which opened in 1999.
They are pleased that they will now be giving Rhode Island customers the option to shop at both stores.
“We want to do a better job of serving customers there and we think by having a Rack gives us a chance to do just that,” Johnson said. “It’s a terrific location and we think the Warwick Mall is a great fit for the Rack. There’s a great mix of retailers there that we want to be part of. It’s a great shopping destination. Customers will be able to find terrific brands at pretty significant savings.”
The Rack carries 49 of the top 50 name brands they sell in full-line stores. Labels include but are not limited to BCBG, Vince, Tory Burch, Marc by Marc Jacob, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss.
The store sells everything from women’s dresses, suits, blazers, slacks and blouses, as well as men’s apparel like suits, dress pants, dress shirts, ties, cuff links, and more. Athletic wear is available for both men and women.
Additionally, the Rack offers children’s apparel, plus accessories such as handbags, watches, belts, socks, hats, gloves, scarves, luggage, fragrances, slippers, boots and shoes.
“Shoes are near and dear to our hearts because Nordstrom started as a shoe store in 1901 and it’s a focus of our offering at all of our Racks,” Johnson said. “We’re going to have tens of thousands of shoes, over 1,000 handbags and over 2,000 ties for men.”
Johnson said shipment is delivered to the store about once a week. The assortment changes with every arrival.
“It’s the ultimate treasure hunt experience,” he said. “It’s what we work hard to create every day at the Rack. It’s a chance to get great fashion finds at some pretty significant savings. That’s part of the excitement of shopping at the Rack.”
Aside from its variety of merchandise, the store also offers on-site alterations. Johnson said alterations are “super” helpful for customers who need slight adjustments on apparel.
“Our point is to make it convenient and easy to shop,” he said.
Another convenient service they offer are mobile point of sale devices, also known as mobile check out devices, that allow store employees to ring up customer sales throughout the store. They recently began implementing the mechanisms for customer satisfaction.
“One of the things we know that is important to the customer experience is speed,” Johnson said. “With these mobile devices, we’re able to check out customers anywhere in the store. You don’t necessarily have to wait in line at the cash register. We continue to focus on offering a fast checkout experience at the Rack.”
Aside from a unique shopping experience, the new store, which is 37,360 square feet and located at the Target end of the mall, created 70 full-time positions for local residents, and a handful of part-time positions. Nearly 100 construction workers renovated and removed buried utilities from the space. Few parking spaces were lost due to expansion.
Since the nearest Rack locations are in Boston and New Jersey, Mayor Scott Avedisian is confident the Warwick Rack will attract residents from Connecticut Valley and New York. He views the opening of the store as another “great asset” to the city and helps market the Warwick Mall and the city as a retail center.
“Nordstrom Rack customers will travel hours to have an opportunity to shop,” he said in an email exchange. “This adds to the general draw that is the Warwick Mall. With all of the changes made post-flood, Warwick Mall is one of the only malls in the region that is expanding and bringing new retailers to the area. Congratulations to Nordstrom Rack and [managing partner of the Warwick Mall] Aram Garabedian.”
Considering the damage caused by the historic flood of 2010, Sandy did not cause any problems to the store. Johnson said they were fortunate in this aspect.
“Our store did not sustain any damage, but the folks that were hit the hardest by this are at the forefront of our thoughts,” he said. “We encourage anyone who can to join us in supporting Red Cross to try to help recovery efforts. Our hearts remain with everyone who is rebuilding. We’re so thankful our store is in great shape. We’ll be ready come Thursday morning.”
Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers and was founded in Seattle. Now, Nordstrom operates 238 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores, 117 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one treasure and bond store and one clearance store. Nordstrom also serves customers through Nordstrom.com and via catalogs. Additionally, the company operates in the online private sale marketplace through its subsidiary, Haute Look. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN. The Warwick Rack will be the 118th Rack.