Nordstrom vs. Nordstrom Rack - What are the Differences?

Nordstrom vs Nordstrom Rack

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack? Well, both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores are fashion retailers that offer a wide range of clothes, shoes, beauty products, and other accessories for men, women, and children. So what is the Nordstrom vs. Nordstrom Rack confusion about? Well, there are some major differences between the two stores. Nordstrom is a high-end store for people who seek designer brands and top-quality items. On the other hand, Nordstrom Rack is the cheaper branch of Nordstrom.

Nordstrom sells trendy and high-quality designer products and Nordstrom Rack sells the same products in the next season for a discounted price. In contrast, Nordstrom Rack is a stock clearance store for Nordstrom. Nordstrom Rack sells Nordstroms overstock and outdated products. This is the reason why Nordstrom Rack is 30%-70% cheaper compared to Nordstrom.

About Nordstrom

Nordstrom is a famous fashion retailer established in 1901. They offer shoes, clothing, and other fashion accessories for men, women, and children. Nordstrom started as a Seattle shoe shop but now it is one of the leading fashion retailers in the USA. They have been pleasing their customers for more than 100 years and they are looking further to it. Nordstrom has more than 350 shops including Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Nordstrom local locations.

Despite having so much reputation, Nordstrom was recently accused of selling fake, taped-up Golden Goose sneakers for more than 500$. This news went viral and everyone on Twitter was discussing the situation. But in reality, the shoe was designed that way. This shoe was described on the website as a hold-together taped shoe.

Many people were doing fine with it but one of their customers was disturbed by it. She said that they were insensitive and awful. Nordstrom replied on Twitter and said they are always looking to bring new and unique products and not everyone does not have the same taste. Ultimately, it was a rumor that they were selling fake items.

Also Read: Nordstrom Review 2023 - Legit or Not?

About Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom Rack is a part of Nordstrom where you can buy their products for a lower price. This is the off-price division of Nordstrom. Nordstrom Rack was mainly created as a clearance center for a Nordstrom store in 1973. The best thing about Nordstrom Rack is that customers can save up to 70% on famous brands. Nordstrom Rack contains products from other Nordstrom stores that are from the previous season or were overstocked. Nordstrom Rack plays an important role in stock clearance and gaining new customers. They bring products outside Nordstrom as well. Nordstrom Rack is highly recognized by new customers. There are more than 350 stores in the United States and Canada. Nordstrom Rack is now a favorite place for discount hunters.

The prices in Nordstrom Rack are lower compared to Nordstrom. Customers can save up a heavy amount in Nordstrom Rack just because they are from the previous season. Nordstrom Rack offers mixed merchandise to its customers. The biggest difference between Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack is that Nordstrom uses Nordstrom Rack as a clearance store. Also, the prices at Nordstrom Rack change very fast. On the other hand, prices at Nordstrom stay the same for a season. Nordstrom Rack is for people who love to buy designer accessories like bags, clothes, shoes, etc for a very low price.

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Nordstrom Rack mall logo

Is Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack the Same Thing?

Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores are part of the same company but there are some differences between the two. Nordstrom is like a showroom full of products designed by popular designers and fashion brands. On the other hand, Nordstrom Rack sells discounted items from their Nordstrom stores and returned products from other Nordstrom branches. Nordstrom Rack offers discounts on other brands and most of the time the discount is between 30%-70%.

Nordstrom has extra services for its customers like free in-store alteration service and free style consultation. On the other hand, Nordstrom Rack does not offer these facilities. However, the main difference between Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack is the price. Customers can buy costly items at a lower price in Nordstrom Rack. There are more than 350 Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack shops in the United States and Canada.

Nordstrom is like a luxury brand store where there are plenty of facilities, while Nordstrom Rack is more of a discount store that does not offer anything extra.

Is Nordstrom Rack Less Expensive?

If you are comparing the prices at Nordstrom vs. Nordstrom Rack, then know that Nordstrom Rack is way cheaper than Nordstrom. Nordstrom Rack is 30-70% cheaper than other places. There are many reasons why Nordstrom Rack is less expensive. Nordstrom Rack sells products that are returned from Nordstrom so their profit is not much affected by the discount. Also, Nordstrom Rack changes their inventory every week by adding new styles. This way the discounts are changing every week and they are making enough to give discounts.

When it comes to designer items, Nordstrom Rack sells items from previous seasons, and that allows them to give more discounts. The best time to get a discount is the "Clear the Rack" sales, which happens once a month and customers can get 25% off the lowest marked prices. The best thing about Nordstrom Rack is their competitor price matching. For example, if a customer finds the same product at a cheaper price in other stores, their employees will immediately lower the price! Not only offline but customers can buy items for a cheap rate from the Nordstrom Rack website!

Is Nordstrom Rack a Luxury Brand?

Nordstrom Rack is surely a favorite place for discount hunters. They sell a lot of luxury brand products at a very low cost as well. While the products might not be of the latest season, they are typically high-quality products from luxury manufacturers. Customers can sometimes find Gucci bags, shoes, spectacles, lipstick, and many more.

There are also other luxury brand products available at Nordstrom Rack like Tory Burch's foul-weather shoes. For sporty people, they also have Nike products like Windrunner zip hoodies, sneakers, and sports bras. Aside from these luxury brands they also have other luxury brands including Barefoot Dreams, UGG, Madwell, Birkenstock, Spanx, and Topshop. Nordstrom Rack is one of the best places to buy luxury brand items but Nordstrom Rack itself can not be considered a luxury brand.

Woman picking clothes in a store

Does Nordstrom Rack Sell Real Stuff?

There are many reasons to wonder whether Nordstrom Rack sells real stuff or not. One of the main reasons is their discounts, there are very few fashion retailers that provide discounts like Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom sells luxury brand products in their stores, when they get outdated or need to be cleared for the new collection, it is sent to Nordstrom Rack. The good news is yes, Nordstrom Rack sells real stuff. However, merchandise at Nordstrom Rack may be last season's or overstocked items, but they are still genuine and of high quality.

Nordstrom Rack is a part of Nordstrom and they work as a clearance store for Nordstrom. This is one of the main reasons why they can sell real stuff at such a low price. There is no chance of buying fake products from Nordstrom Rack because they have been in the market for more than 50 years and they have no reason to sell fakes. However, Nordstrom Rack was sometimes accused of selling fake products but none of them were proven. Also, Nordstrom won't like getting sued for selling fakes to their customers.

Can I Return Nordstrom to Nordstrom Rack?

Many shoppers face problems while returning products, they get confused thinking can they return Nordstrom to Nordstrom Rack? It might be a situation where you bought an item and want to return it but the Nordstrom store is too far. Well if this is the situation do not worry at all. The answer is yes, you can return Nordstrom items to Nordstrom Rack. but there are some return policies you have to comply with to return items bought at Nordstrom to Nordstrom Rack.

Nordstrom Rack has a special return policy known as the Hautelook return policy. It imposes a deadline of 45 days for returning unwanted items. Another fact is if you are past 45 days because Nordstrom Racks employees can accept the returned products at their responsibility. If it's past 45 days they will only refund you 50% of the price.

Most of the Nordstrom products can be returned to Nordstrom Rack except the following items:

  • Damaged products
  • Beauty products
  • Products that are used or worn
  • Products without original packaging
  • Products that are marked as Non-returnable

Now the question is, what is the return process? Well, Nordstrom Rack does not provide an exchange option but they refund the products. There are two ways to ask for a refund, offline and online. Use the steps below to request a refund online or in-store.

To return offline follow these steps:

  1. Take the original payment receipt with you
  2. Go to the nearest Nordstrom Rack store with your products
  3. Complete the paperwork and ask for a refund

To return online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Nordstrom Rack website and go to the blank returns section
  2. Enter the order number and postal code
  3. Submit the return request
  4. Print the prepaid shipping label that the store has mailed you
  5. Ship the items with the prepaid return label

The important thing to know about returns is you won’t receive your refunds immediately. If you complete the return process in person it will take 5-7 business days to get your hands on the refund. But online refunds usually take more time, an online request will take 10-14 days.

Nordstrom Rack store logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Nordstrom Rack designer bags real?

Yes, Nordstrom Rack designer bags are real. There is no need to worry about their authenticity. Most of the Nordstrom Rack products come from Nordstrom and they sell authentic products. Nordstrom sells many luxury designer bags like Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and more. Most of them are from the previous seasons but they are real designer bags. And this is the reason why they can sell designer bags at a low price.

Does Nordstrom Rack take back worn shoes?

The answer is no, Nordstrom Rack does not take back worn shoes. They have a fair return policy of 45 days and the product has to be intact and with its original packaging. And it is clearly written in their return policy that they do not take back used or worn products. So there is no chance that they will take back worn shoes.

Does Nordstrom Rack match prices?

No, Nordstrom Rack does not match prices but they offer a competitive price on everything they sell. Technically price matching for them is not possible, because they always have new stocks coming to their price changes often. This is the reason why Nordstrom Rack does not match prices.


Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack are two different retail divisions of the same company that give different shopping experiences. On one side Nordstrom offers the best quality luxury brands at a higher price, on the other side Nordstrom Rack provides similar products at a discounted price. Nordstrom always has new collections of the current season and on the other hand, Nordstrom Rack sells the overstocked and previous season's products. In other words, Nordstrom is trendy and costly but Nordstrom Rack is a bit back-seasoned but budget-friendly.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, if you prefer the best quality and designer items go for Nordstrom. Nordstrom also offers some facilities that Nordstrom Rack does not. But if you worry about the budget and you are okay with the previous season's items, Nordstrom Rack will be the best choice for you.

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