(Printed in The Hartford News on April 26, 2012. You can read the original copy here.)
Whether you are a bargain hunter, designer label seeker, or simply want to spruce up your wardrobe, be sure to visit Connecticut’s first Nordstrom Rack, an exciting new store that will be opening on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9am.
The 36,000 square foot store is located at 1600 Southeast Road, Farmington, in the West Farm Shopping Center, just one block south of Nordstrom’s full-line store in West Farms Mall. The Rack is the bargain-hunters, off-price, dream version of Nordstrom shopping— same high quality but most merchandise is 30-70% off regular retail prices. The Rack offers a huge selection of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, plus thousands of shoes and accessories, including jewelry, handbags, luggage, hats, scarves, lingerie, home furnishings, hair care, cosmetics, and more.
Both the new Rack and the full-line store in the Mall are owned by the same company, which has expanded from a small shoe store in Seattle, founded in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin, to over 220 locations today.

While Nordstrom has become a multi-billion dollar, Fortune 500 Company, it is still managed by the family, fourth generation Nordstrom brothers, Blake, Peter, and Erik. Nordstrom is listed in both Fortune’s and CNN Money’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For.
Responding to the nation-wide demand for its Rack Stores, Nordstrom is opening several new ones each year all over the country.The Farmington Rack will be the 110th Rack Store and the only one in Connecticut.
The Rack comes with high anticipation and much local buzz. Within its first week, the Rack’s Twitter feed  Farmington_Rack had over 250 followers, through word of mouth alone. This is a point of pride for Store Manager, Bianca Cassidy, who chose to relocate to Connecticut from her former Regional Merchandise Manager’s job with Nordstrom in Virginia. All the department managers and assistant managers were promoted from within the company, which also hired 58 new employees for the new store. Bianca, who is a high-energy woman with a flair for fashion and a good eye for a bargain says, “The customer is our first priority. We put service first.” The Farmington Rack includes an impressively diverse team, with individuals from varied backgrounds, levels of education and career experience, and ranging in age from 18 to over 60. This translates to a team that is welcoming to all and committed to providing the best service to every customer.
While you will find some clearance items from full-line Nordstrom Stores as well as its on-line offerings at Nordstrom.com, most of the Rack’s inventory (80%) is new merchandise purchased specifically for the Rack stores from all the famous designers you love. The Rack expects to sell out one third of its inventory opening weekend, so make sure to come in early in the weekend and then come back every week to see what’s new. The best bargains will go fast, but you will find something for everyone, at prices you won’t believe possible.
Employees using the new Mobile technology will help credit card customers open new accounts and check out more quickly. The Rack is located in the building formerly occupied by Linens and Things. Its shopping center neighbors include Michaels Crafts, Petco, Sports Authority, TJ Max, Chili’s, and the China Pan Restaurant.

Restaurant owner Charlie Chang says about the new Rack, “Everyone is excited. My customers are excited. I believe it will help business.” For weeks as the store was being furnished and stocked, potential customers peeked in the windows, trying to catch a glimpse of the excitement within.
On opening day shoppers should come early for “Rally at the Rack,” starting at 7am outside the store, where they will have a chance to win a $2000 shopping spree in 90 seconds. Inside they will be treated to door prizes, rewards, entertainment, and hunt for golden hangers worth $100 in store credit. The first 1000 buyers will get to take home a souvenir of opening day, a free Nordstrom Rack tote. Come early, come often, and please say hi to all the new employees who can’t wait to serve you with a smile.
Andrea Obaez lives in Hartford and is a graduate of Hartford Public High School and CCSU. She is the Assistant Manager of the Accessories Department at the new Farmington Rack and formerly worked at Nordstrom in West Farms Mall.