Nordstrom partnered with Balsam Hill to create Christmas tree lots for holiday shoppers at 21 Nordstrom stores across 13 states, Balsam Hill announced on Tuesday. It's a first-time partnership for both companies.
Nordstrom began debuting the tree lot displays Oct. 8 through Oct. 15, and they will remain available throughout the holiday season. Among the Nordstrom locations that will feature the tree displays are the Nordstrom Stores in New York City, the Mall of America in Minnesota and California's South Coast Plaza, per the company statement.
Nordstrom will offer both virtual and in-store "tree events" during the season, and the trees available for purchase will range in shape and size to fit smaller and larger spaces, Balsam Hill said in its announcement.
While Nordstrom seeks to turn its spaces into winter wonderlands to woo customers, other retailers are experimenting with customer experiences outside their storefronts. Earlier this month, Lowe's introduced curbside trick-or-treating ahead of Halloween. And earlier this week, Walmart turned its sizable parking lots into a space for contact-free events.
Claire Magat, chief people officer and head of growth at Balsam Hill, said in the announcement that the partnership allows customers to view its merchandise in person. The companies hope to get consumers in the holiday spirit with the help of knowledgeable sales staff, the availability of various lighting options and the ability to see the faux trees up close. But the availability of virtual events may be a necessity this year, as many consumers continue to stay away from physical stores.
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating economic and in-store shopping anxiety, the 2020 holiday season is predicted to look very different from a brick-and-mortar perspective. Research from Sensormatic Solutions suggests that in-store shopping during the usual six-week holiday shopping period could drop between 22% and 25% from last year. And the International Council of Shopping Centers predicts that this year's holiday spending could rise by only 1.9% to $862.2 billion, with many customers opting for click-and-collect over in-person visits.
Per a survey from PwC, 55% of shoppers said COVID-19 was their top concern around holiday shopping, and many consumers have also endured financial challenges due to the pandemic, including receiving reduced income, working fewer hours or facing layoffs.