3 Ways Nordstrom Is Doubling Down on Its Active Business

Samantha McDonald
·2 min read

As the COVID-19 crisis pushes more and more Americans to invest in at-home fitness tools, Nordstrom is doubling down on its active business.

Today, the department store announced a partnership with at-home fitness firm Tonal, with the company’s $2,995 wall-mounted workout stations set to roll out this month in the women’s active department at 40 Nordstrom locations across 20 states. The roughly 50-square-foot concept will allow shoppers to experience a full demo of the Tonal product and try out a workout of their choice firsthand.

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“We know customers are looking for inspired workouts that elevate their wellness ambitions, and we’re excited to offer them a dynamic new digital fitness experience through our partnership with Tonal,” Nordstrom VP and divisional merchandise manager Lori Marten said in a statement. “Our goal is to help customers discover the latest active gear for style, performance and everything in-between, and we look forward to making it easier than ever to discover everything in one place so they can look and feel their best.”

But Nordstrom’s push into fitness and wellness extends beyond the recent partnership: In December, the Seattle-based retailer debuted a dedicated Active category page on its website as it reported seeing heightened activity in the search for yoga mats and sweatpants, among other items. Through the link, customers can not only search for brands by activity or category, but also obtain health and workout advice, expert tips and product guides to help them shop for activewear, athleisure and other gear. According to the chain, the microsite was the “first key step” to launching its active-focused ambition and growth strategy for the full year.

What’s more, Nordstrom is currently working to add more than 75 new active brands — spanning from golf and tennis to hiking and other outdoor activities — both online and in stores throughout the year. In the company’s third-quarter conference call, CFO Anne Bramman explained that the department store continues to see “casualization, wellness and comfort trends resonate with customers.” She added that it had “outsized growth” in the active, home and beauty categories, which altogether made up more than 25% of its total sales.

“There’s a lot of runway there for us, I think, particularly in active and home,” president, director and chief brand officer Peter Nordstrom told analysts in November. “So I think you’ll continue to see us just work there.”

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