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Nordstrom Will Stroll into Durham with High Fashion, High Prices

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NORFOLK, VA — A bit of shopper's paradise is coming to Durham. Upscale retailerNordstromwill be an anchor tenant at the new Southpoint Mall.

"We have several amenities we're proud of -- our piano player, our personal touch complimentary shopping service, as well as our cafe and an espresso bar in all stores," says Patrick McKeon, the Nordstrom store manager in Norfolk, Va.

It is more than just those amenities that has shoppers sizing up Nordstrom's newest store in Norfolk. At Nordstrom, the isles are wide, the shelves are neat, and the clothes are the latest fashion -- some with exclusive brand names.

The salespeople are educated about their merchandise, and customers that do not have time to shop, can call ahead and a personal shopper will have a selection of clothes waiting to try on when they arrive.

Nordstrom is to department stores as Callaway is to golf -- the top of the line. The developers of the new Southpoint mall in Durham say Nordstrom has signed on as an anchor store.

Not only do stores like Nordstrom carry a higher line of clothes, they have the upper end price tags as well. However, with the Triangle's average family income souring above all other parts of the state, economist say it is a good fit.

"They tend to cater to higher income buyers, higher income consumers and we do have the income," says economist Mike Walden.

The Triangle also has the people, or at least it will. Southpoint developers are counting on the Triangle's population to double over the next 20 years. They are also counting on luring customers from existing malls.

"People tend to like bigger, newer, brighter," Walden said. "So there's going to be some competition generated there."

Economists say older malls will need to remodel, and add some new stores of their own. Otherwise, Southpoint -- with the help of Nordstrom -- will be the big draw.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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