CHANDLER, Ariz — As stores in Arizona begin to reopen, a major closure is happening in the Valley. Nordstrom announced Friday the store at Chandler Fashion Center will not reopen and will instead close for good.
The company said in a statement to 12 News, because of how COVID-19 impacted business, 16 of their stores are closing for good.
Hitendra Chaturvedi, a professor of supply chain management at Arizona State University, said he isn’t surprised.
“This is just the beginning,” Chaturvedi said. “Physical retail is going to evolve from very large format stores to small experience zones.”
He’s been watching online commerce take over the past few years and said going to a large department store will become a style of the past.
“COVID-19 just accelerated it,” Chaturvedi said.
Chaturvedi said experience style stores like Amazon Books will be the physical stores of the future.
“They will bring in technology, so, for example, you can walk into a store, you can try out a few things you can buy, but those stores would not be there for you to buy, just to build the brand,” Chaturvedi said.
As for what will become of spaces like Nordstrom, Chaturvedi said COVID-19 eliminated one option of it being rented out as office space.
“Malls may become a place for flea markets and used products,” Chaturvedi said. “Many of those locations might turn into warehouses for delivery to your house faster than the competition.”