Supporting Our Communities: Store Opening Galas

Giving back before the shopping begins.

At Nordstrom, we see each new store opening and the community it will serve as a cause for celebration. One of our most special and long-standing traditions is our Nordstrom full-line store opening gala, which gives us the opportunity to invest in the community even before we open our doors.

Building Community Relationships
Hosted just a few days before a store opens its doors for the very first time, the gala enables us to give back to local nonprofit organizations that are making a significant, positive impact on the community. Nordstrom underwrites the entire cost of the event, so 100 percent of the money raised from ticket sales goes directly to the beneficiary nonprofit organizations. 

"For us, giving back to the communities where we live and work is part of who we are as a company," said Terri Baldwin, director of Charitable Giving at Nordstrom. "We want to build a strong relationship with the community, which is why we spend a great deal of time meeting with local nonprofits to learn about the community's most pressing needs before carefully choosing the organizations we think can have the greatest positive impact."

"Giving back to the communities where we live and work is part of who we are as a company." --Terri Baldwin, Director of Charitable Giving at Nordstrom

Supporting Children's Health, Youth & the Arts
Three recent store openings raised more than $472,000 for local charities:

At our first international store opening at Chinook Centre in Alberta, Canada, a sold-out crowd of 1,800 guests raised $180,000 for Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation and United Way of Calgary and Area. The funds will be directed toward youth mental-health initiatives and programs that aim to reduce the high school dropout rate.

Celebrating the opening of our store at St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, Florida, Nordstrom hosted an opening gala for 1,400 guests to benefit the Cathedral Arts Project, Junior League of Jacksonville and Wolfson Children's Hospital. The event raised $105,000. Wolfson Children's Hospital serves children and families regardless of their ability to pay. Cathedral Arts Project believes all youth should have access to instruction in the visual and performing arts. Funds from the Nordstrom gala will help them achieve this vision. The gala also supported the Junior League of Jacksonville's mission to empower women leaders.

At The Woodlands Mall in The Woodlands, Texas, more than $187,000 was raised for the Texas Children's Hospital at the opening gala. The hospital's patient-care, education and research initiatives are helping to create healthier futures for women and children in the community and around the world.

Fashion, Food & Fun
Though the primary goal of the galas is to raise funds for the important work of local charity partners, there's still plenty of fun to be had. Guests enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, live music and even dancing! Of course, there's also plenty of fashion to take in, thanks to live model vignettes that offer a preview of some of the upcoming season's hottest fashions. Best of all is that guests get a sneak peek at the new store and the opportunity to be the first to shop the newest merchandise—all while giving back.