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Issue Date: January 2009


Sweet Steals

Nordstrom Rack offers a spectrum of special finds.
Lynne Thompson
The sight was enough to make me break into a Snoopy-style dance.

The necklace I’d lusted after just a few weeks earlier in Nordstrom at Beachwood Place was hanging on a display at Nordstrom Rack in Legacy Village. Finding the imposing piece — a chain of heavy silver links priced at $150 — in the upscale department store’s off-price counterpart was just too good to be true.

It was the epitome of fashion. It was in perfect condition. It was marked down to $59.97.

Over the years, I’d heard about the legendary Nordstrom Rack from friends living in other parts of the country. I’d always dismissed their comments as the ravings of the impossibly thin — it’s easy to find a to-die-for outfit at any sale when you’re a size 2—or obsessed bargain-hunters. As an occasional shopper who inhabits the other end of the misses-size spectrum, I’ve never had much luck at outlet malls and off-price retailers. So when Ohio’s first Rack opened in October, my excitement was tempered with skepticism.

Unfortunately, that skepticism was justified when it came to the clothes. According to store manager Aimee Discenzo, Rack stores augment their stock with “special purchases” that include entire size runs of an item. The effort was evident in a respectable assortment of sportswear in small and medium. But the only garment in my size that I admired was a $1,495 St. John fur-trimmed cape marked down to $499 — still too pricey for me.

The merchandise in other departments, however, made the trip worthwhile. A $325 Dooney & Bourke pebbled-leather hobo handbag reduced to $194.97. Cashmere wraps I’d seen for $200-plus on sale for $129.97.

The biggest surprise, in fact, was the shoe department’s selection. I wear a size 11, so I have trouble finding anything Ireally like in an actual store. Here, however, I could have assembled an entire shoe wardrobe.My best find: multiple pairs of $275 Cole Haan pumps marked down to $119.90. The selection was even more impressive for women wearing anything under a size 10.

The 41,000-square-foot store also has men’s and children’s departments, as well as personal-care products and home accessories. Yes, it looks like a discount store, complete with glaring florescent lights, theft-deterring tags and plastic shopping carts. But you’ll need those carts to get your haul to the checkout counter.

25149 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst, (216) 472-2244, nordstrom.com

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