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Originally published Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Nordstrom rolls out same-day delivery service

Nordstrom, which also is testing same-day delivery service in La Jolla, Calif., sees it as part of an ongoing push to cater to today's technologically savvy customers, for whom speed and convenience are all-important.

Seattle Times business reporter

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For all the convenience of shopping online, you still can't beat walking into a store and leaving with a new box under your arm for instant gratification.

But even that may be changing.

Nordstrom has begun offering same-day delivery at its downtown Seattle and Bellevue Square stores to customers who live and work nearby.

For a $10 fee, customers can order something on Nordstrom's website by noon and — assuming it's in stock — have the item hand-delivered to them by 6 p.m. the same day, including Saturdays and Sundays.

That means that for the price of a latte and an hour or two of parking at Pacific Place, you can avoid the lunchtime crowds and try on a new dress or coat by dinner without ever stepping outside. There is no minimum-purchase requirement.

Seattle-based Nordstrom, which also is testing the service in La Jolla, Calif., sees it as part of an ongoing push to cater to today's technologically savvy customers, for whom speed and convenience are all-important.

"It's clear that the way customers shop is changing very rapidly," said Nordstrom spokesman Colin Johnson. "We're trying to do a better job of responding so that we can serve customers on their terms."

The new delivery service — which coincides with last week's release of a new iPhone app and the August launch of free shipping for online orders of any size — operates out of courier vehicles with "subtle" Nordstrom branding, Johnson said. While it might expand eventually, the service now is available in 15 local ZIP codes.

In Seattle, the coverage area includes Capitol Hill, the Central District, Belltown, Leschi, South Lake Union, Madison Park, Madrona, Montlake, Pioneer Square and Queen Anne. On the Eastside, it includes downtown Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, a small section of Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island and Yarrow Point.

Industry watchers note that luxury department stores always have provided courier service for their very best customers, but by offering same-day delivery to everyone within certain ZIP codes, Nordstrom is taking the concept a bit further.

"This is Nordstrom one-uppping itself and looking to enhance its relationship with customers," said retail consultant Kate Newlin. "It's as close as you can get to instant gratification, and it does feel personal. It takes you back to the days when the dress maker came to you."

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com

Seattle Times researcher Gene Balk contributed to this report.

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