Target, Nordstrom Rack amp up business amid digital competition

- The dizzying pace of fashion trends and consumer demands are forcing retailers to constantly re-invent themselves. Here in the Twin Cities, we are seeing an evolving landscape with Target just announcing several new brand names to their stores and a new Nordstrom Rack downtown.

Open for almost a week, Nordstrom Rack is seeing near-record numbers of people checking it out. The store is one of many trying to compete with the Amazons of world.

“You don't have to go all the way to the Mall of America,” one shopper said. “You can beat the traffic, come during lunch hour and get things done."

The downtown Nordstrom Rack has a lot of new features from its other stores in the area including an entire downstairs section full of clothing.

Dan DeBaun is the retail and restaurants reporter for the Minneapolis - St. Paul Business Journal. He said stores that either offer good deals or an experience for the shopper will last in the digital age.

"I think a lot of millennials and the younger crowds are looking for good deals right now. They like the treasure hunt element; it adds this fun part and piece to it," he said. 

Meanwhile, Target just announced they're partnering with reality TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines of the popular show “Fixer-Upper.”

They will carry the couple's Magnolia line of home décor among nearly a dozen others.

"They want fans of this show to go to Target, and that's going to be the only place where they can find this merchandise…that sets them apart from these other retailers," DeBaun said.

Shopper Justin Schwartz said he likes what he’s seen as he checks out the new Nordstrom Rack and said he likes the convenience of downtown shopping.

“Anything that's close and makes my life easier, I love it," he said.

Many of these stores - both in the cities and online - are introducing these new brands and promotions well ahead of the holiday season because that is crucial to staying in business.

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