I won't lie. I set the bar incredibly high regarding my expectations for the new Nordstrom Rack which opened in Union Square this month. A veteran outlet shopper, I was beyond spoiled while in college with Neiman Marcus Last Call basically in my backyard. As a co-ed exposed to deeply discounted designer I was worse than a kid in a candy store....I was more like a junkie on the hunt for his next fix. Coupled with my semi-yearly shopping spree at the Barneys Warehouse Sale, Nordstrom Rack had mighty big shoes to fill.
Here is the wrap up:
Size of Store - I was surprised by how small it was...not sure why, but I was. Maybe because most Nordstrom stores are three floors and I thought one basement level to be pretty scrawny.
Crowd - Not bad, but I did go on a weeknight. I don't think I would have the strength to challenge the crowds on the weekends. I leave all that energy for the Warehouse Sale.
Women's Clothing - Pretty lame fare if I do say, but I did like the James Perse t-shirts. I rifled through a few racks of garish print dresses and separates even though I have little patience to peruse racks and racks of garbage to find a true gem. I did see some Kate Spade which was the highest level of 'designer' I found in the clothing department. And, they had quite a few pairs of Rock and Republic and Seven jeans, so some finds could be hiding there.
Fitting Rooms - I found a few items I liked but decided to forget it when I saw the line for a fitting room was over 10 people long. I can't imagine what this queue is like on the weekends.
Men's Clothing - From what I read in New York Magazine, the dress shirts were the true find here. Confirmed. Stick with the Barneys Warehouse Sale or Century 21 for designer suits.
Shoes - I was beyond disappointed as I walked through rows and rows of Steve Madden 6" tramp pumps, but a light at the end of the tunnel appeared when I found the designer shoe section. Small, but full of little finds, the only true bummer was that I could only find two mirrors (one wall and one on those stools you find in shoe stores) which lead me to believe the entire store was designed by a man. I did leave with two very cute pairs of heels for 50% off.
Intimates - Once again, I can't bear to sort through racks of randomly sized bras that could probably fit my head inside one of the cups when reasonable places like Victoria's Secret and American Apparel exist.
Accessories - Belts maybe....bags don't bother.
Cosmetics/toiletries - I was excited to see this section....too bad it's hidden under the escalator. I found goodies from Philosophy, Stila, and Smashbox, and was surprised to see a huge selection of Neutrogena products. Whatevs.
Overall-- If you are in a pinch and need a great pair of heels for a party this weekend or looking for standard issue designer denim and t-shirts this is a great place. For most of the categories in between the pickings are slim, and your time would be better spent hitting up J. Crew, Club Monaco, Uniqlo, etc. I know it is all about what fell off the back of the truck the day you stop in, but it makes me yearn for Neiman Marcus Last Call, and the tip-of-the-top Barneys Warehouse Sale.
60 E. 14th Street
Hours: M-Sat: 9am-10pm, Sun: 11am-7pm