Nordstrom Opening Survival Guide

Nordstrom Opening Survival Guide If you want to experience Nordstrom on its opening weekend you’ll be well rewarded, but keep these essential tips in mind as you venture forth By Nicole Halloran   September 17, 2014   Since 1901, the Nordstroms have been delivering fashionistas and trendsetters high-end brands with…

Nordstrom Opening Survival Guide

If you want to experience Nordstrom on its opening weekend you’ll be well rewarded, but keep these essential tips in mind as you venture forth



Since 1901, the Nordstroms have been delivering fashionistas and trendsetters high-end brands with world-class customer service. On Friday, Sept. 19, they’re bringing that same service to Calgary. Two years after announcing their decision to come to Canada, Nordstrom will open the doors to its first international location, the first of six locations north of the border to be opened over the next two years. Calgary’s 140,000-square-foot location takes the place of Sears in the Chinook Centre, and will carry a wide range of products from high-end designers and more affordable brands.

If the suspense is just too hard to bear, take a look at this video produced by Chinook Centre featuring a sneak peek of the new store:

Here are our best tips and some insider information on how to survive the grand opening.

Nordstrom Opening Gala

On the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 17, Nordstrom is hosting an opening gala in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the United Way of Calgary and Area. At the sold-out event, guests will enjoy dinner and dessert, sip cocktails, listen to live entertainment and, most importantly, get a sneak peek at the store before it opens to the public.

Opening Day, Friday, Sept. 19


If you’re anticipating some heavy lifting on the way back to your vehicle on Friday, try to find a spot in the north parkade for the shortest route. Lot P4 in the west parkade is currently inaccessible due to construction.

Beauty Bash

Lining up to get into Nordstrom is going to be a tad more glamorous than camping on the sidewalk for concert tickets. Starting at 7:30 a.m., Nordstrom’s beauty experts are treating early birds to complimentary skin consultations, demonstrations and make-up lessons outside the first floor entrance. The first 2,000 customers will receive a free commemorative tote bag. Hear about the latest fall trends from Nordstrom’s beauty and fragrance director, Debra Redmond, and meet with the experts from the top names in beauty and fragrance.

Beauty Bash Specials

Receive free gifts with purchase from reps at dozens of the world’s leading beauty brands. Here are a few examples:

Laura Mercier: With a $95 purchase from the line, receive a five-piece gift that includes deluxe-size samples of moisture crme, primer SPF 30, face polish, Desert Rose Glace and a cosmetics bag.

Chanel: Get a free consultation from Chanel’s makeup artists, and with any purchase, receive a prestige miniature of Blea de Chanel eau de toilette, a Chanel notebook and a sample of Le Volume mascara.

Kiehl’s Since 1851: After a skin-care consultation, receive three deluxe-size custom samples.

La Mer: Get a mini facial and skincare consultation from La Mer’s experts, and receive deluxe samples of crme cleansing foam, tonic, hand treatment and a cosmetics bag with a $400 purchase.

Grand Opening

Following the Nordstrom tradition, moments before 9:30 a.m., store manager Shelia Wooldridge will rally all of the employees for a rowdy storewide countdown before the doors swing open. Staff members will line the aisles to welcome the first customers into the store.


Floor 1: Women’s shoes (three departments), men’s shoes, men’s apparel, fashion accessories, fashion and fine jewelry, sunglass shop, Ebar, men’s and women’s washrooms

Floor 2: Women’s apparel, women’s active and swim, lingerie, kid’s wear, women’s washrooms, women’s lounge (parents/nursing area)



Nordstrom started as a shoe retailer, so it makes sense that when they get their start in Calgary, they bring with them thousands of pairs of shoes. Women will find brands like Michael Kors, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker (exclusive to Nordstrom) and high-end designer brands like Jimmy Choo and Valentino. The men’s collection includes brands like Red Wing, Nike and high-end lines like Salvatore Ferragamo and To Boot New York. Nordstrom also carries a selection of children’s shoes. Certified fitters will be on hand to help you pick the perfect pair from the wide range of sizes.


Nordstrom’s expansive women’s department will be the home to a broad range of designer apparel, with many of its brands being private labels and therefore making first-time appearances in Calgary. Nordstrom is also Calgary’s exclusive retailer of Kate Spade New York. Eight complimentary personal stylists will be available to help you put together a great new look.


With everything from casualwear to designer suits, there’s no shortage of options in men’s apparel. Browse the latest looks from Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Burberry and Italian luxury designer Pal Zileri among dozens of others. With a selection of more than 1,000 ties, finishing your new look will be easy. Nordstrom offers complimentary tailoring and alterations to make sure that new suit fits just right.


To complete your look, spend some time in the fashion accessories and jewelry departments. Find the perfect Movado watch, Mikimoto pearls, or Valentino clutch to pull together this season’s fashion trends.


Nordstrom’s vast beauty department is bringing brands and expertise unmatched in Calgary. The new location is the first retailer in the city to carry Burberry’s cosmetic line, Burberry Beauty. Get free consultations and applications from experts in brands like Chanel, La Mer, Giorgio Armani and NARS. Spend more than $125 on beauty and fragrance on opening day and receive a free beauty bag.

Cashing out

Cash registers are stationed in most departments throughout the store. Extra support staff will be on hand for the opening days, so the line-ups should be a breeze. Complimentary gift boxes are available at all registers, and a delivery service is available upon request.

Take a Break

Chances are, you’ll need to refuel partway through the day, so grab coffee – or something stronger. At Ebar, Nordstrom’s caf, you’ll find specially trained baristas handcrafting everything from specialty lattes (try the caramel apple) to fresh fruit smoothies. From Sept. 19 to 21, the first 1,000 customers to show this post ( will get a free drink from Ebar, valued up to $4.

If that’s not enough to take the edge off, Bazille, Nordstrom’s bistro-style restaurant is fully licensed with an impressive list of signature cocktails. Choose from a large selection of salads, pizzas and other Bazille specialties for lunch or dinner.

This story was part of Avenue’s free weekly Style Newsletter. Sign up now and get home decor and fashion information and advice in your inbox every Wednesday.

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