Tesla has many reasons for selling direct instead of through dealers, and here's another one: the flexibility to set up mini-stores like this one inside a Nordstrom. They are opening the first in a fancy mall in Los Angeles, and it will be a pilot to see if it is worth doing more. (Nordstrom has 121 stores in the US and is just opening in Canada). According to Fast Company, it's a way of Tesla expanding " its infrastructure for selling and delivering cars to potential buyers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the company’s still-nascent brand and all-electric vehicle technology."
Nordstrom is a high end, high fashion store and the Tesla is a high end, high fashion object of desire so the association makes sense, more sense than selling it as an electrical product at Best Buy. This is interesting:
"[We’re] bringing Nordstrom customers a Tesla experience, and I think for Nordstrom as well, it’s like, How can we target Tesla’s audience?" says Ganesh Srivats, the luxury carmaker’s vice president of North American sales. Srivats, a former retail exec at the British fashion house Burberry, had worked extensively with Nordstrom in the past and played an instrumental role in setting up the initiative.
In most car companies, the VP of sales is a car guy. At Tesla, one might expect that he or she be an e-marketing type. Instead, he's a fashion guy. Also interesting: according to PSFK, the 400 square foot Tesla gallery is in the mens' department, even though women "play the leading role in 68% of new car purchases".
It is also another nail in the coffin of the traditional dealership model. Fast Company concludes:
"This kind of innovation is just not going to be possible if we don’t have a direct sales model," Srivats says. "Because ultimately we’re going to be restricted by the dealerships from engaging in the new playful ways that we’re able to do because we own our business."