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Nordstrom Rack = marginal quality...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Twotone, May 10, 2010.

  1. Reevolving

    Reevolving Well-Known Member

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    San Fran
    I went in once and saw nothing but "luxe streetwear" like "Lucky 7th" and Ed Hardy like tshirts (or whatever.)
     
  2. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    The Rack just sucks. I love the hunt more than anyone, and I dont have the patience to dig through all that garbage. Whomever up there said its like a TJ Maxx was 100% spot on.
     
  3. razl

    razl Well-Known Member

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    The Rack just sucks. I love the hunt more than anyone, and I dont have the patience to dig through all that garbage. Whomever up there said its like a TJ Maxx was 100% spot on.
    Ditto. Here in Orlando, we've had a proper Nordstroms for about 6 years now but no Rack. Having seen a number of posts on SF about excellent suit deals scored at their local Rack's, I was quite envious. We got one about 6 months ago and, ... ugh. Nothing like Nordstroms hand-me-downs, more like a totally different store filled with Marshalls/Ross/TJMaxx crap and a Nordstroms name slapped on. In fact, we had zero blazers or suits for about 5 months, I was starting to think we wouldn't ever have any, period. They started trickling in some about 4 weeks ago. Most are garbage, but I saw a few high end stragglers so I'm hoping the occasional gem shows up, but given the rest of the stuff on the floor, I am not holding out hope... My usual bottom feeding crawl includes our Rack less and less. I mean, there's so little if any decent stuff, it just isn't even productive to stop by for 10 minutes. That said, the store is never wanting for it's share of middle class label whores. I'll add one other thing - I've always very much liked Nordstroms (and touted stores of their service in many a post). But, I do think the sour taste in my mouth over the rack has rubbed off on my Nordstrom perspective for no other reason other than name association. As time goes on, I find my enthusiasm for visiting the main store diminished by proxy of my disappointing experience at the rack. I mean, if I was scoring decent stuff at the Rack, I'd be more inclined to visit the store - something like "geez, if that's showing up here, what have they got at the main store???". But when I come away empty handed at the rack, I somehow feel there can't be anything at the main store either...
     
  4. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Well-Known Member

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    These places are all going to crap with the proliferation of "direct to outlet stores" merchandise. I still see the best stuff at Last Call; Off 5th has either outlet brands or racks and racks of the same stuff over and over; I've just about given up on Nordstrom Rack.

    I remember about 5 years ago you could still find good suits at the Rack. It is all shit now.
     
  5. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    I got my first pair of Ferragamos there years ago, I remember the Ferragamo selection was awesome. Now when I crawl the shoe aisles, its only crap Adidas and Geox. Not worth my time. Id rather dig at NMLC or Saks for an hour then spend 10 minutes in there.
     
  6. Osprey Guy

    Osprey Guy Well-Known Member

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    This was exactly what I found at the Sawgrass Mills store. And that's why I was so stunned. Not only was it all crap...but the department was just a fraction of our men's shoe dept!! We've obviously got one of the (few remaining) good stores in the chain. While we certainly get our share of the Chinese junk at our store, it's very rare that I don't see at least a few pairs of better shoes (Canali, Santoni, Ferragamo, always a lot of AE's, etc). While they may not necessarily be in my size, just knowing that the good stuff is still showing up at our store on a fairly regular basis is always an encouraging reason to come back again.
     
  7. jabreal00

    jabreal00 Well-Known Member

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    DC area
    The place is a zoo. Cloths are heaped on top of each other. I cannot shop in conditions like that. It feels almost like a frenzy looking for that one gem. It's just not worth the hassle. I'll pass.
     
  8. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    oh yeah XMI ties. :gag:
     
  9. The Shoe Snob

    The Shoe Snob Well-Known Member

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    the rack is simply crap leftover from the half-yearly sales, returned stuff from nordstrom that can't sell at full price anymore, and special purchases for their store specifically. The reason why it is hard to find good stuff is because it's all the bottom barrel of the sales from nordstrom main line stores. To make the most out of the rack, you have to know when to go and that is 2 weeks after any half yearly sale, it will be most stocked then and you will have more luck finding "nice" stuff. I once bought a pair of churches, brand new, for $150. I don't know anywhere else i could have found that deal. You just have to be persistent and wade through all of the crap!
     
  10. Chips

    Chips Well-Known Member

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    I've found a few decent things there over the years, but it's getting to where it's not worth the wait in the long lines to check out. They cater to the younger fashion trends and the decent quality classic menswear is not well represented anymore.

    I was happy to score a nice pair of Sperry Topsiders for for $30. But I never find those amazing deals on 100% cashmere socks for $2 or whatever crazy finds, some people seem to stumble across.
     
  11. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Well-Known Member

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    I would kill for even a crappy Nordstrom Rack in Edmonton.... sigh
     
  12. modagg

    modagg Well-Known Member

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    I suspected the outlet stores sucking in recent years was due to the drastic sales the regular stores had to offer to sell anything last year and then this year because it seemed the department stores were stocking a lot less stuff just in case they couldn't sell anything like last year.
     
  13. Chali2Na

    Chali2Na New Member

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    The Rack is a separate division of the company and has its own set of buyers. 75% of their merchandise is bought specifically for the Rack, so right off the bat that's a significant portion of merch that wouldn't even come close to the SF standards. On top of that, the rest are rejects that didn't sell out during half yearly sales, so that's almost the rest of the pie. There are two ways you find things at the Rack:

    1. A few weeks after the half yearly sales are over, everything left is sent to the Rack. This includes designer merchandise, if you're lucky to have a designer store near you. The problem is even at that point, most of the good stuff has already been cleared out of the full line store, so the Rack gets hardly any good stuff. You can get lucky and hope something slips through, it's all a matter of timing. Nordstrom doesn't send merch until they do inventory, so if you find out when they do that (twice a year), the merch is going to the Rack in a matter of days.

    2. Returns that are past the season automatically go to the Rack. This is how you get "lucky." Every once in awhile people return stuff that goes straight to the Rack. This also happens with refurbished items. You can't plan for it, but you can befriend people who work at the Rack who will set anything you might be interested in aside if it comes in and they'll call you.

    3. It helps if you live near one of the biggest stores (Michigan Ave, Flagship, Bellevue, South Coast, etc.) because their local racks get the good stuff. Sorry.
     
  14. stu00a

    stu00a Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2009
    always HIT OR MISS
     
  15. spidercan

    spidercan Well-Known Member

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    Most of the stuff at my Rack is pretty poor quality. However a couple of months ago there were quite a few new suits. Not much style forum approved, mainly Armani, Dolce and Gabbana etc, but we also got some Zegna, Canali and Jil Sander. Not great but a lot better than going through the racks of Boss and Kenneth Cole suits that usually populate the place.
     
  16. Osprey Guy

    Osprey Guy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I have discussed this at length with numerous store employees and managers... and it is simply not true. Rack merchandise that actually originates from Nordstrom stores is first shipped to a central distribution center where it is then allocated to stores in other parts of the country. The allocation is based on the track records that have been established by the various Rack stores. In fact, primarily in order to avoid conflicts, the mainline stores go out of their way to NOT send merchandise to Racks in the same town (There are rare exceptions...If at the end of a sale a Nordstrom department manager is left with just a small number of items, he can at his discretion obtain permission to bypass the system and send those few items to the local Rack). Our Nordstrom's is only a "B" store. The Annapolis store (about 40 minutes away) is perhaps a C+. Except for a few proven sellers (IE: Zanella trousers), our store does not carry the sort of goods one might find in the "A" stores. But our Rack has demonstrated that it can do a very good job of moving the better goods (as long as they're discounted)...and so they get more of the better goods than many of the other Racks. Side note about Nordstrom's: On my last night in South Florida a few weeks ago, I was on my way to have dinner with an old friend. He lives just a couple blocks north of the Aventura Mall in North Miami. Before I got there he called me on my cell and said, "I know you like Nordstrom's...So before you come over you need to stop by the Aventura Nordstrom's. You'll be impressed." Well, I was running late and when I pulled up to the Nordstrom's it was already 9:20 pm (the store closes at 9:30) As luck would have it I happened to park just outside the entrance to the Men's department. When I walked inside I was immediately blown away! It only took a moment for me to realize that this store was every bit as nice as a Neiman's or Bergdorf's...perhaps nicer! This wan't just a Nordstrom "A" store.... This was a "AAA" store!! I only had enough time for a couple of minutes to poke around the sportwear dept... Most of you know how I feel about sport shirts (By anyone's standards I own a lot!). And I can tell you that there were more great -looking sport shirts in that one department than I'd ever seen before in one place! The average price ranged from $150 to $300. Standing in the center of the sportwear dept I was surrounded by racks and racks of spectacular shirts! Unfortunately the store was closing and I was leaving town the next morning. But I can't wait to go back the next time I'm down there.
     
  17. razl

    razl Well-Known Member

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    IOur Nordstrom's is only a "B" store. The Annapolis store (about 40 minutes away) is perhaps a C+.
    ...
    This wan't just a Nordstrom "A" store.... This was a "AAA" store!!


    I didn't realize this. Since generally falling in love with my relatively new (6 yrs?) central Florida Nordstroms, I haven't yet visited ones elsewhere. But then I read things like this:

    Most of the stuff at my Rack is pretty poor quality. However a couple of months ago there were quite a few new suits. Not much style forum approved, mainly Armani, Dolce and Gabbana etc, but we also got some Zegna, Canali and Jil Sander.

    Our Nordstrom's doesn't even carry Zegna, and Canali is a rare find - it's mostly Hugo Boss type crap.

    No wonder our Rack sucks, it doesn't even have regional trickle down. Heck, our Nordstrom's sounds more like what y'all in the big cities are getting at your Racks!
     
  18. politico

    politico Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
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    Feb 11, 2010
    Regular Nordstrom's in Houston(big damn city) is crappy. All Hugo Boss and Joseph Abboud

    The new Nordstrom Rack is even worse. I don't think I've seen more than 2 attractive ties between the stores(why do I own three!!!)
     
  19. TheDroog

    TheDroog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    485
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    Aug 7, 2007
    Rack stores used to be far better for mens clothing because the ratio of full-line stores to Rack stores was different. It used to be that Nordstrom full-line stores far out-numbered Rack locations. As a result the clearance items from a lot of full-line stores made there way to the few Rack stores that existed at the time. Keeping merchandise on the floor wasn't hard and not much merchandise had to be special purchased.

    In the last 3-4 years or so Nordstrom realized that high volume, low margin = greater profit. Couple that with a terrible economy and a name people trust and you get a booming Rack division of Nordstrom. A lot of regular Nordstrom customers simply dropped down to become Rack customers. Up until about 9 months ago, Nordstrom almost completely pulled the rug from under full-line inventories (like most other high end retailers) and focused on their Rack business. As the impressive buoyancy of the stock price shows, Nordstrom's business model for this recession was pretty solid.

    Unfortunately that makes finding steals that much harder in Rack stores now. Especially when 'the best' merchandise is shipped to Rack locations in wealthier areas... Should be noted that Rack stores can contract out to other retailers for their clearance merch, as an example, the Rack by gets the end of season Tumi luggage from the local Tumi store.


    The Rack is a separate division of the company and has its own set of buyers. 75% of their merchandise is bought specifically for the Rack, so right off the bat that's a significant portion of merch that wouldn't even come close to the SF standards. On top of that, the rest are rejects that didn't sell out during half yearly sales, so that's almost the rest of the pie. There are two ways you find things at the Rack:

    1. A few weeks after the half yearly sales are over, everything left is sent to the Rack. This includes designer merchandise, if you're lucky to have a designer store near you. The problem is even at that point, most of the good stuff has already been cleared out of the full line store, so the Rack gets hardly any good stuff. You can get lucky and hope something slips through, it's all a matter of timing. Nordstrom doesn't send merch until they do inventory, so if you find out when they do that (twice a year), the merch is going to the Rack in a matter of days.

    2. Returns that are past the season automatically go to the Rack. This is how you get "lucky." Every once in awhile people return stuff that goes straight to the Rack. This also happens with refurbished items. You can't plan for it, but you can befriend people who work at the Rack who will set anything you might be interested in aside if it comes in and they'll call you.

    3. It helps if you live near one of the biggest stores (Michigan Ave, Flagship, Bellevue, South Coast, etc.) because their local racks get the good stuff. Sorry.


    This is exactly right. There was an article in NY Times the other day about the new Nordstrom Rack at Union Square. Nordstrom executives have been scoping for a location in NYC for a while, and given the current economy, they decided it was smarter to open a discount store rather than their regular shop.

    The Nordstrom's Rack near me is quite bad, no better than an Off 5th. Neiman Marcus Last Call typically has the best upscale selection of the three.
     
  20. A Canuker

    A Canuker Well-Known Member

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    I would kill for even a crappy Nordstrom Rack in Edmonton.... sigh

    +1 but just a little closer to my neck of the woods.
     

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