The Chicago Business Journal reports that Nordstrom is closing down its Trunk Club business and will integrate it into its mainstream physical and online operations.
Describing Trunk Club as "a once-promising business that started a decade earlier in Chicago" and that was bought by Nordstrom in 2014 for $350 million, the Journal writes that Nordstrom "said on Tuesday that by year’s end it plans to fully 'integrate' the Trunk Club subsidiary into its full-line stores and into the chain’s website, nordstrom.com.
"That integration will mean the closing of Trunk Club brick-and-mortar clubs in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Without the physical club outposts, it remains to be seen what, if anything, will be left of Trunk Club as the brand disappears inside the Nordstrom's sprawling department stores."
- KC's View:
Trunk Club also seemed designed to build on the growing popularity of Stitch Fix, the subscription program that launched just a few years before, sending customers boxes of curated clothing that they could choose from, with the ability to send back the stuff they didn't like or want.
I still think that this is a model with a lot of relevance, especially in how it can sustain a retailer's relationship with shoppers who use it. It won't be for everyone, but it has a kind of Prime vibe that could be valuable.
Maybe it just didn't fit with Nordstrom's broader strategy, or maybe it was just a distraction … maybe in a business model that features the Nordstrom Local format, it just wasn't going to show the kind of growth that Nordstrom was seeking.