Another retail initiative that’s a race t the bottom!

Nordstrom’s just announced they are launching a curbside pickup at twenty of their stores. Nordstrom’s has been at the forefront of omni –channel fulfillment. The new initiative is another step toward providing the ultimate convenience to shoppers. One of the basic concepts of retail is to get people into the store to maximize their spending potential. The omni –channel strategy makes sense, buy on line or at any store and pick up your merchandise at the most convenient location. The curb side pickup is counter intuitive to the whole concept of retail. The convenience factor may initially be thought of as an attempt to cater to the busy consumer, but if their successful and it grows there may be unintended consequences.

Retailers are still trying to figure how to wean shoppers off the price promotion game they created about ten years to spark holiday sales. They kept one upping each other by offering greater discounts. Margins have taken a beating, but its slow process reversing consumer behavior that the retailers created. Curb side pick could another one of those good ideas that has the unintended result of keeping shoppers out of stores.