The long awaited final anchor store at the Christiana Mall is set to open Friday. Nordstrom will open in the space once held by Strawbridge’s.
Workers went around the two story building putting on the final touches, while new employees gathered in different locations for training sessions.
The store will employ 377 people. Store Manager Terisha Johnson says 300 of them are from Delaware. “We are working hard to earn the trust of consumers. We want to be a part of the community and to give back,” Johnson said.
Nordstrom is getting ready for another fundraising gala Wednesday night. The Delaware Art Museum, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, and the Wilmington chapter of The Links will benefit from those who spend the $75 for a ticket. The Links is a volunteer service and non-profit corporation of professional women of color that has been around since 1946. The store has already done fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer. Last October, 200 children painted tiles that were sold to raise $10,000 for the Ronald McDonald House.
Nordstrom started in Seattle, Washington as a shoe store. The only other stores within driving distance of Delaware are at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania and the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey. Johnson said her company understands there was a history with the Strawbridge name. Nordstrom’s wants to offer “a unique shopping experience,” she said. They’ll offer designer names and services like personal shoppers. Their nod to Delaware’s history can be seen in one of the two restaurants the store will open. A deli-style place called Sixth and Pine has photos from the Delaware Historical Society on display.
Strawbridge’s and the Strawbridge and Clothier line faded away when the May Company bought the chain in 2005. The Christiana Mall was hit hard when that store and Lord and Taylor’s closed. The Target chain has recently opened. The mall has also undergone extensive renovations adding new stores.
Johnson wants to push the whole store as a shopping experience, but she does add, “you have to come for the shoes.”