Monday, January 12, 2009

Store Review: Nordstrom Rack

When I first heard about this store all anyone could ever tell me about it was, "Oh I LOVE Nordstrom Rack" or "Nordstrom Rack has the best deals." With high expectations I went into the store looking for shoes, the measuring tool I use to determine whether a store has good deals.

I was not impressed. First, the shoe section was incredibly messy. Shoes were haphazardly strewn about. Sizes were consistently in the wrong place. The disorder was so bad that even a bargain shopper with incredible stamina (myself) became annoyed. Still, I gave it a chance. I picked through the shoes to find cute ones in my size. The ones I found were brands that I could find elsewhere at similar prices with deals that were only okay. At the time, they were having a sale and all the shoes at the low discount seemed to be gone or not available in my size, 9. The few great designer names they had weren't as low a price as I'd hoped or as good a name. It was usually one or the other: great name, not-so-low price or not-so-great name, great price. So I gave up.

I went back again last week and was much more pleasantly surprised than I had been before. This time I skipped the shoes entirely and went straight for the clearance clothing. There, I was very impressed. I saw J Brand, Joe's, Hudson, and other high-end designer jeans for LOW prices (like $30-$60). I saw many designer items, cashmere sweaters for much less than I would normally expect to pay. For example, I just bought a silk/cashmere sweater by Elie Tahari for $57 (originally $248) at Neiman Marcus Last Call and found the same sweater for $20 less there (argh).

I was extremely impressed with their selection and pricing on clearance clothing this time around. I ended up talking myself out of buying most of what I picked up, but eventually got some Nike workout tops (really great, by the way!) for only $12 each (originally $40-60), which I think is pretty good!

Overall, I give them 3/5 stars. They lose 2 stars for 1) their shoe section and 2) the fact that the great clearances now probably have to do with the economic downturn. I'll keep coming back to see if those low prices remain and keep you updated on the results.