Nordstrom Rack is coming to University Park.
The luxury department store chain announced Thursday that it will open its off-priced Rack store inside the Shoppes at University Town Center near Interstate 75 and University Parkway in University Park.
Nordstrom will take the place of the former Circuit City, which is being expanded beside Total Wine to make a 35,000-square-foot store, due to open in the fall.
"We're excited to have found this terrific location that will enable us to bring the Rack treasure hunt experience to our customers in the Sarasota-Bradenton metro area and throughout Sarasota County," said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack in a statement. "We look forward to getting our doors open and serving customers at the Shoppes at University Town Center."
Products at Nordstrom Rack typically are 50 to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices and also carry products specifically for the Rack store.
Nordstrom Rack will find itself a home inside a Benderson-owned shopping center that also features Marshalls, Shoe Carnival, Ross and Carmel Cafe and Wine Bar. The shopping center is located on the Manatee County side of University Parkway.
"We are extremely excited to bring Nordstrom Rack to our Shoppes at University Town Center family," Benderson President Randy Benderson said in a statement. "Their presence will serve to further enhance the outstanding assortment of retailers found along University Parkway."
Nordstrom currently operates nine full-line stores and eight Rack stores in Florida. Nordstrom recently announced two additional new Rack stores in Jacksonville and Naples scheduled to open this fall in addition to the full-line store slated to open in Jacksonville next year.
The Herald-Tribune first speculated about its opening and noted in 2012 that Nordstrom was supposed to anchor the Mall at University Town Center until work on the Sarasota County mall had stalled.
Sources told the Herald-Tribune Thursday that the area shouldn't rule out a full-fledged Nordstrom opening so close to a Nordstrom Rack:
"It is not uncommon for Nordstrom to have a full-line and Rack store in the same region," said Jeff Green, who heads a Phoenix-based retail consulting company. "At one time you would never see that, but in recent years Nordstrom has focused more on broadening the customer experience and they know they can reach more shoppers with both an outlet and traditional store nearby."
Nordstrom itself even acknowledges that pattern in its own press materials of frequently asked questions:
"We’ve found that Nordstrom Rack and full-line stores complement each other nicely. Many customers shop at both stores and this gives us a way to better serve them while making it more convenient for them to shop with us. There are many cities where they are in close proximity but not all."