The Nordstrom New York flagship is set to open in phases, beginning with the retailer’s first-ever stand-alone men’s store next spring, a solid year and a half before the women’s location. “A separate men’s store wasn’t in our original plan, but opportunistically, things came our way,” explains Paige Thomas, Nordstrom EVP and GMM of Men’s. “Property became available across Broadway from the women’s store, and we wanted to take advantage of that opportunity.” It also gives the retailer a chance to serve some of its long-waiting New York customers while the women’s store, originally set for a 2018 opening, is being built from the ground up and to test the waters a bit. “There is a lot we can learn by opening up the men’s store first,” Thomas notes. She did not mention that the men’s business has skyrocketed in revenue growth to the point that it warrants a separate store, but did mention that it’s a “priority for the company” and called out a few men’s growth drivers seen during 2016, including: “highly sought after luxury brands,” Topman (which was introduced alongside Topshop in 2012), advance contemporary (think Rag & Bone, Reigning Champ, Wings & Horns, Our Legacy, Norse Projects and Carhartt WIP), men’s shoes (especially limited-edition sneakers), premium denim and finally, activewear. Menswear currently represents 20 percent of overall annual sales and 18 percent of square footage across all full-line stores, according to the company. Read more at Fashionista.