Direct-to-consumer fashion and jewelry company Stella & Dot on Monday announced a partnership with Nordstrom, its first foray into traditional brick and mortar, according to a press release sent to Retail Dive.
A capsule collection from Stella & Dot, along with sister brand Keep Collective, starting this week will be sold in 26 Nordstrom stores and on Nordstrom.com.
Items are priced from $30 to $130 and will be merchandised throughout the retailer's jewelry department. Stella & Dot will also host pop-up trunk shows with appearances by founder and CEO Jessica Herrin at select locations.
Nordstrom's announcement to partner with a DTC accessories brand comes in the midst of a flurry of decisions by the department store.
The retailer in late October opened a seven-story full-line store on the West Side of New York, and earlier this month it revamped its merchandising team, invested in plus-size apparel startup 11 Honoré and furthered its relationship with Rent the Runway
Those decisions may be Nordstrom's way of continuing to innovate and push forward as department stores as a whole struggle. This fall, Moody's cut its forecast for the segment, anticipating a 15% overall drop in operating income for the sector in 2019.
While department stores experiment with merchandise-free locations, curated concepts and e-commerce, digitally native brands are turning to brick and mortar. New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are proving to be the top U.S. cities where digital-first companies are experimenting with opening their first stores.
Partnerships like the one between Nordstrom and Stella & Dot could give both businesses an advantage: Nordstrom introducing a new brand to its audience and Stella & Dot testing how its company is received in a physical setting. Herrin started Stella & Dot in 2003, and the company in its release said that for the past decade it has only sold through 'ambassadors' and on its website.
"With the rise of social selling and the increasingly digital focus of our ambassadors, we saw the importance of finding new ways for the customer to experience the brand in real life, to touch and feel our product and experience the quality," Herrin said in a statement.