Tesla is partnering with fashion outlet Nordstrom this weekend to showcase its latest innovations in electric vehicle (EV) technology as well as sell them.
You read that last part right.
Nordstrom, an upscale fashion and beauty boutique, will be selling Tesla Motors' Model X SUV through its outlet store in The Grove, Los Angeles, alongside its existing line of clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories.
The fashion boutique owns about 121 stores in the U.S. and Canada with 200 Nordstrom Racks available in various malls and outlets. Besides offering various products for female consumers, Nordstrom also sells various wares for men, and it looks like Tesla's EV will be adding to this list. The supposed Tesla gallery will open in the men's department of the retail chain, situated on the first floor.
Serving primarily as a pilot test to determine if the expansion will be fruitful by the end of the year, Tesla's partnership with Nordstrom is expected to expand throughout its entire chain in the hopes to increase Tesla's global foothold in the industry with 215 car showcase rooms operating worldwide.
"We're focused on listening to our customers and seeing how they respond to this type of differentiated experience," Nordstrom explains in a report.
The project is spearheaded by Tesla's vice president of North American Sales, Ganesh Srivats, who was previously the retail executive at Burberry, during which time he had worked extensively with Nordstrom.
"[We're] bringing Nordstrom customers a Tesla experience, and I think for Nordstrom as well, it's like, 'How can we target Tesla's audience?'" Srivats said in a statement.
Albeit currently lacking the necessary sales license to operate the initiative, consumers may take the Model X SUV for a spin with on-site Tesla employees. If interested in making a purchase, consumers will be directed to an off-premise sales associate. The nearest Tesla store is located in California, which is about 5 miles away from The Grove. Orders can also be made online through the company's Tesla Motors web page.
The companies are, however, reportedly working on acquiring the needed license to operate the initiative, allowing direct purchases through the fashion boutique.
The launch of this partnership may be attributed to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent announcement to deliver 500,000 Tesla EVs every year: included in those numbers is Tesla's upcoming Model 3 EV. Recent conspiracies targeting the company seems to have no major impact affecting its future business model as well.
"This kind of innovation is just not going to be possible if we don't have a direct sales model," says Srivats, adding that "[b]ecause ultimately we're going to be restricted by the dealerships from engaging in the new playful ways that we're able to do because we own our business."
Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr