I can’t quite place my finger on it, but personally, I felt a sense of chaos while touring the new Nordstrom in the Ewa Wing of Ala Moana. It was just weird and different from the vibe of the original Nordstrom.
While the store is nice and new, the layout just felt chaotic for me. Like the recently-added Bloomingdale’s, distinguishing each department means decorating it differently. There are no walls or exceptionally tall partitions to separate floor space and departments. Multi-storied, the new location is essentially different floors of empty, flat space, not rooms or sections. I guess the original location was similary built, so maybe it’s the high ceilings with all that extra space that exacerbates that bad vibe.
Then I hit the men’s shoe department. Usually, I enjoy the great finds here, enjoying some unique kicks. But I could hardly make my way through this “department.” It just felt so confusing like I was going the wrong way, and it was like I couldn’t get a good look at the shoes. Do I walk clockwise, counterclockwise, straight through? Even with the variety of shoes there, I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy or even look at them with the chaotic layout too distracting.
And you know what I think the cause is? Again, it’s weird, but I think it’s the right side of the all the pairs of shoes on display. Thinking about it, I think most stores display the left shoe. Why? I don’t know, but I’m sure there’s some reason. So browsing amongst all the right pairs was just so disconcerting. The shoes were pointing one way, but I felt like I had to walk against this natural direction. Or maybe it’s because I’m right handed and picking up the right shoe in the displayed orientation, I would see the inner, medial side of it. But really, the outer side of the shoe is where it’s at.
I have to go back one day and see if that sense of confusion is still with me, but man that new Nordstrom just feels too chaotic.