Nordstrom just became the first national retailer of digital kitchen company Food52’s product line.
Food52 is best known for its digital food content and recipes, but the media company is ready to take a step outside of the kitchen and into retail with Nordstrom. Food52 will sell its Five Two decor line, which features dining items, kitchen tools, and home goods, at Nordstrom stores across the U.S. Nordstrom is Food52’s first brick and mortar partner, which could open both brands up to a wide array of new customers just in time for the holiday shopping season. Though in-store shopping has been on a decline since the Coronavirus pandemic began, the holidays could pick up foot traffic, and help both Nordstrom and Food52 boost sales and customer engagement rates.
Nordstrom is not Food52’s first partner, but it is its largest. Food52 has collaborated with digital wedding registry Zola before and tested out its own pop-up shops in the past. Given the uncertain market for brick and mortar stores, however, turning to Nordstrom as a wholesale partner rather than setting up its own shop could present a safer opportunity for growth. The partnership also comes at a perfect time for Nordstrom, as it’s been leaning into home goods to make up for lost apparel sales this year. As a leader in the department store industry, Nordstrom’s image could drive Food52 customers to its stores, which in turn could help it recover from a 53% sales decline this year.
Although Nordstrom currently utilizes sophisticated digital marketing strategies, according to a Gartner report, working with Food52 could further boost its e-commerce business. Conversely, Nordstrom can lend its department store prowess to the partnership, which allows Food52 to shift from a solely digital entity to an in-store presence. As such, selling the Five Two line in-store and online gives the brands an opportunity to increase their digital relevance while keeping shelves stocked. Nordstrom and Food52 could also extend their partnership promotions to social media, where they have both amassed around 3 million followers on Instagram, meaning they have a large and already captivated audience who could take interest in their new collaboration.
Nordstrom and Food52 could capitalize on the rising consumer interest in kitchen decor and supplies by engaging consumers in-store and online. The brand’s new retail partnership could also pave the way for future e-commerce-brick and mortar partnerships, showing that the physical future of digital brands could lie in wholesale collaborations, rather than independent stores.