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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

A Deal Diva tour of Nordstrom Rack

14

October

I work in St. Petersburg and live in Clearwater, so I didn't immediately get to the Holy Motherland when it opened. I'm talking about Nordstrom Rack, of course, which landed this month in Tampa's Walters Crossing. That's probably a good thing. If I worked in Tampa, I'd spend every waking lunch hour inside that shopping center, also home to DSW and Target, throttling my bank account of penny, zeal and life. This week, though, I hopped over the bridge for lunch with the other Deal Divas at our official business offices, Nordstrom Bistro. After salads, I walked out of Nordstrom past all the things I can't afford, got into my sputtering Accord (hey look, I made a rhyme!) and headed down the street to Nordstrom's sister Mecca.

Would the angels sing? Would I never leave this place of golden streets? Or would I be sorely disappointed, forced to find solace in the Arbor Mist aisle at Target?

Reality was something in between.

The store had the feel of a big, bright TJ Maxx or Ross, well-organized and more spacious than most off-price stores. The employees were dressed spiffy-like, and it smelled clean (yay for no creepy urine odor). The music was pretty cool, too. Overall zen. Things were organized by racks (duh) that let you know whether or not the merch came from Nordstrom. Rack has its own original brands that aren't found in the pricey department store.

rackrack.jpg

I zipped to the shoe department first, obvs. I have to admit, I was a little let down. Prices were still mighty high on a lot of items, and I had a hard time finding anything on clearance. I didn't see much for less than $40. But there were some very nice brands in the mix, like Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. And the biggest steal in the store came from my one true love, Betsey Johnson. I had to exercise great financial restraint not to scoop these up, marked down from $139.95 to $54.90. Behold:

rackshoes.jpg

Likewise good deals awaited in the "accessories" section, which had, um... well, underwear. How couth of them to call your gut-sucking skivvies accessories, right? Spanx, which normally cost Your Soul Plus A Donut, were priced quite reasonably, between $30 and $40.

rackspanx.jpg

Actual accessories were there, too, like SUPER SPARKLY Betsey Johnson bags and this adorable 1920s flapper-themed backpack from Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers collection, down from $88 to $44.97. I know, a lot of bucks to shuck out for your kid, who will probably forget a turkey sub and Elmer's purple glitter glue stick in the bottom corner, spiraling you slowly into madness. Cute, though.

rackbackpack.jpg

The clothing selection didn't overwhelm me. Yes, it was all pretty, but it was still on the expensive side. As you know, we have mighty cheap standards here at Deal Divas. I found one top I couldn't put down from Lush, priced at $17.97. I took it to the dressing room, where I learned Nordstrom Rack's most valuable secret -- they allow you to bring in 15 ITEMS!!! The lady in front of me almost jumped into the ceiling. "I should go back and get more stuff!" Brilliant, Nordstrom Rack, just brilliant. Nobody likes a stinky six-item limit. It just makes people buy less!

Alas, I only had one item: This asymmetrical top with a wonky flying squirrel sleeve. I can soar! Had to have.

racktop.jpg

I left Nordstrom Rack about $20 poorer, after tax. All in all, a good experience. I would go back if I was in the market for high quality stuff, but I'd probably stick to Target and DSW for random bargain browsing on a lunch break or Saturday.

Let's hear your Nordstrom Rack thoughts!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photos: Obviously taken on my grainy iPhone. I wish I had photography skills.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 7:43pm]

    

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