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Nordstrom launches livestream selling, popular in China

NEW YORK (AP) — Upscale department store chain Nordstrom is getting into livestream selling, the latest U.S. retailer to jump on the trend that has been already popular in China.

The move, announced Wednesday, is part of the Seattle company’s overall strategy to shift more of its business online.

Nordstrom will kick off its livestreaming channel with a Burberry virtual styling event on Thursday. The presentation will focus on how to wear Burberry runway looks and style them by mixing and matching with other pieces from the collection. On Friday, shoppers can tune in to learn the latest skin care and hair care tips for at-home beauty rituals. And on April 8, customers will learn how to style jewelry. During the livestream selling events, shoppers can buy products and participate in a live chat.

Livestream selling is taking off in the U.S., ushering in a new way for Americans to shop online. Instead of searching for what they want, they pick up their phones, sit back, and click to buy if they like what they see.

“Livestream Shopping enables us to stay closer to the customer with interactive and engaging experiences that allow for discovery, personalization and service at scale,” Fanya Chandler, senior vice president at Nordstrom, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

This mode of shopping was expected to ring up nearly $5 billion in sales last year and reach $25 billion in 2023, according to retail data firm Coresight Research.

The pandemic is helping to feed the craze. Business owners with closed stores had taken to livestreaming to sell all sorts of items. At the same time, tech companies, including Facebook, Instagram and Amazon, have made it easy for businesses to livestream from their smartphones.

Online shopping giant Amazon has been experimenting with livestreaming for five years, but in 2019, it offered a free app allowing businesses that sell goods on the site to livestream from their smartphones.

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AP Retail Writer Joseph Pisani in New York contributed to this report.

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO
AP Retail Writer

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