Nordstrom Has a Secret Clearance Store Where You Can Save Up to 95 Percent
Shoppers are crazy about this Nordstrom outlet with prices way lower than the Rack.
It's no secret that Nordstrom Rack is tremendously popular among savvy bargain-hunting shoppers. But did you know there's a place you can find Nordstrom deals for even less? A little-known clearance outlet, Last Chance, has only two locations, but it might be worth a trip, as the store sells fashion-forward merchandise from Nordstrom Rack and Nordstrom for as much as 95 percent off. That includes everything from designer coats and handbags to wedding dresses, sometimes priced impossibly low. Read on to find out what's behind this discount fashionista's dream store.
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What is Nordstrom Last Chance?
As mentioned, Last Chance currently has only two locations—one in Phoenix and one in the Chicago suburb of Lombard.
This deeply-discounted shopping experience occupies a specialized niche known as "luxury clearance." The stores offer merchandise that hasn't sold at Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack, including worn or out-of-season returns.
The prices will be lower than Nordstrom Rack, but there might be some visible damage, or the styles may be from several seasons ago.
How is it so cheap?
You have Nordstrom's generous return policy to thank for the super-low prices at Last Chance.
Nordstrom itself actually has no set return policy and evaluates customer returns on a case-by-case basis. Nordstrom Rack allows 45 days for returns or exchanges. If the stores don't think they'll be able to re-sell the item, they'll send it to Last Chance.
That's why shopping expert Trae Bodge says, "If you are fortunate enough to visit one of these locations, go with an open mind! You never know what you'll find."
What kinds of items will you find?
The "special luxury area" is perhaps the most popular department to shop at Last Chance. Here, shoppers have found Louboutin heels, YSL bags, and items from other designer brands like Canada Goose and Zimmerman, shared TikToker Kat Ensign.
Other brands Ensign points out are SKIMS, Reformation, and Staud. There's even a wedding dress section.
YouTube blogger Chelsea Pearl, who knows the Nordstrom brand well (she worked at the store in college), shared a Last Chance haul, which included huge markdowns on brands like Topshop. She mentions classics like Hunter Boots and shoes from Stuart Weitzman and Jeffrey Campbell.
The store also features a smaller home goods section that's worth a look.
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How's the experience?
Like any bargain-hunting expedition, each trip will be different. Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, likens it to shopping at a T.J. Maxx or Ross "but mixed with semi-annual sales at stores where they just throw a ton of items into bins and you have to dig for the deals."
On the negative side, Ensign says top-ticket items are often still pricey and explains that lines can be so long they're not worth the effort and that clothes have often "lived" a bit too much to command even their marked-down prices. Fitting rooms are also sparse, she says.
However, Ramhold adds, "If you like a great bargain and you have the patience to battle crowds and sift through the unorganized products, this seems like a great way to save on high-end goods."
One thing to note, as Pearl explains, is that a significant number of shoppers are resellers, planning to sell their finds at a higher price online.
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Some tips for Last Chance shopping success.
All sales are final at Lance Chance, warns consumer savings and smart shopping expert Andrea Woroch. "Since Nordstrom has a very lenient return policy, some items that end up at Last Chance may have been previously worn and even damaged. Make sure you inspect all potential purchases and try on clothing and shoes before buying."
Woroch says mid-week is the best time to shop, as crowds will be sparser. And hitting the store just after opening will ensure things are better organized and there's more inventory to choose from.
She also recommends shopping after the winter holidays (late January through February), as Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack will get an influx of gift returns that will ultimately end up at Last Chance.
What if there's no Last Chance near you?
"If you don't live near one of these locations and aren't planning a trip to Phoenix or Chicago any time soon, don't fret," says Woroch. "You can still access some amazing deals at Nordstrom Rack, in person or online. Scope out their clearance section where you can find savings of up to 80 percent off popular brand name clothing, shoes, and accessories."
The store's Clear The Rack Events are known for knocking yet another 25 percent off already reduced prices.