By Ariele Vaccaro
Although Mayfair Mall seemed quiet from the outside last Friday, it’s interior boomed with the voices of hundreds who came to watch the opening of a new Nordstrom retail store.
The attendees packed the new wing of Mayfair from wall to wall and shouted a count down.
As eager shoppers approached the count of “ten,” doors opened and the crowd filed into a gleaming store. As they made their way through, they were greeted by store employees and mannequins draped in high-end clothing.
Although Friday’s grand opening appeared to be a success, Milwaukee residents won’t know the real, lasting influence of Nordstrom on the area’s economy for years to come.
Co-president of the upscale retailer Erik Nordstrom shook hands with shoppers as they entered.
“We’re here for the long haul,” said Nordstrom. “And it’s a long term investment for us.”
He hopes to see the store establish itself as “a great part the community.”
The company has already hired several hundred people from the Milwaukee area to work at the new shop.
“We should be viewed as the hometown store,” Nordstrom said.
The CEO noted that Milwaukee has been in the company’s sights for a while. Only recently did the opportunity to open up in the Mayfair Collection arise. The opening date was set in December of 2014.
Nordstrom explained that he hopes the store will make shopping more convenient for those who once had to travel out-of-state to find high-end retailers.
Terese Robinson joined in on the Friday countdown. She used to trek from Milwaukee to Chicago to shop at the city’s Nordstrom.
“It’s nice to have an upscale store in Milwaukee,” said Robinson.
Her friend Sandra agreed, mentioning that she would like to see Nordstrom “build the city up a little bit, too.”
Nordstrom joins the lot of new, popular chains taking root in and around Milwaukee, including The Container Store, Meijer, and Costco.
Nordstrom held a gala the previous Wednesday which attracted more than a thousand to the store. The company’s three CEOs — brothers Peter, Erik, and Blake Nordstrom — attended, along with a number of big local names, such as Cory Nettles of Generation Growth Capital and United Way and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.