When it Comes to Retail, Local Boutiques are Ahead of the Curve

For decades, Main Liners have enjoyed personalized shopping experiences that big retailers are trying to mimic.

Last month, Nordstrom sent shock waves through the luxury retail business with the rollout of its first Nordstrom Local store in West Hollywood, Calif. The concept has many asking, “Is this retail genius, or has Nordstrom lost its mind?”

This new Nordstrom won’t have any inventory. Yes, you read that right. Clients will come in, grab a glass of wine or beer, and meet with a personal stylist to select pieces tailored to their style, body shape and wardrobe needs. Manicures will also be offered—and why not?

Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of customer experience, explains it this way: “As the retail landscape continues to transform at an unprecedented pace, the one thing that remains constant is that customers continue to value great service, speed and convenience.”

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It’s worth noting that these are the same things our local boutiques have been offering clients for decades. Main Liners have enjoyed a highly personalized shopping experience, exceptional customer service, and a curated selection of designer clothing and accessories. And around here, that formula is showing no signs of going away. The most recent example is once-sleepy Bryn Mawr, which has become a legitimate shopping destination, thanks to Bryn Mawr Village and high-end retailers like Kirna Zabête and Louella.

In this month’s cover story, we profile the women behind seven of the area’s most successful boutiques. Of course, we got their take on the latest trends, the best-fitting jeans, and more. One of our interview subjects, Posh Collections’ Tina Corrado, recently celebrated 10 years in business. Not surprisingly, Corrado attributes her success to the multifaceted shopping experience she provides clients. “That encompasses everything from the expertise of our stylists and on-site tailors to our home deliveries and in-house wardrobe consultations, to our rewards program and the way we follow up with you days later,” she says. “Your positive experience means the world to us, and we work diligently to make sure that’s exactly what it is.”

Our local boutiques continue to prosper in the face of fierce online competition—not to mention one of the largest, most successful malls in the country. We encourage you to show your support on Small Business Saturday, recognized around the nation this year on Nov. 25. We’re extremely fortunate to have so many thriving independent retailers in our community. Let’s make sure it stays that way.

Happy shopping.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!