Huge Line to Get into the Grand Opening of Nordstrom Rack at 18th and L St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth April 18, 2013 at 9:15 am 29 Comments


Thanks to a reader for sending:

“As of 8:30, the line is wrapping completely around 18th street to K street, and then even wrapping a bit back around to 19th.”


Another reader sends more photos of the scene at 9am:

“The line stretched the entire block of 18th from K to L, and around the corner on K. I don’t understand. I’d thought that I liked Nordstrom Rack as much as the next person, but I guess not.”


  • Wow

    Crazy. I’ve never found any great deals at Nordstrom Rack. I found the sale prices there to be the same as the end of season sales at Nordstrom except the merchandise at Rack is a at least a season older. Loehmann’s on the other hand had some great clearance sales if you can stomach sifting through all the racks.

    • Maybe it was a line to ask about getting jobs… Those people look dressed for interviews…

      I think it’s funny to see shoes on a rack at a discount store for $145, none of them good looking enough for me. Besides, by the time you pay 8$ for metro or 25$ for parking to get there, your savings disappear.

      • ah

        Or for work at one of the many offices nearby.

      • blithe

        Yes, but if they originally cost close to $300, then that makes the difference between “in my budget” and NOT. Nordstrom Rack was where I discovered Cole Haan shoes. <3 I would stand in a line in the rain for half-priced Cole Haans. I have also found great deals at Nordstrom Rack — but then, I enjoy digging through the racks to find them. After Christmas, I got a lovely cashmere sweater that was over-priced at $295 — but seriously sweet at $35 (marked down twice plus an additional percentage off the sale price). But then, shopping is my sport of choice….

  • jes

    Did they offer some kind of big opening promotion or something? Kinda like how Chick-Fil-A gives away free food to the first x number of customers? Or are these people lining up for literally nothing but the opening?

  • Anonymous

    I find it completely absurd that people not in the Soviet Union would wait in crazy lines like this to get into a discount clothing store. Were they giving away something to the first 5,000 customers?

  • anon

    whhhaaa daaaaa baaaaahhhh?

  • Anon Y. Mouse

    When you consider the average hourly take-home pay of some of these customers and the amount of time they waste in line, how much money are they REALLY saving?

    • You’re assuming they’re actually going off the clock to be there.

    • Anonymous

      And that’s assuming they’d otherwise be getting paid for that time. For lots of people (including myself) those calculations like “your time is worth $X per hour” are purely theoretical. I could come up with an average hourly rate for my time, based on my annual salary and the fact that I’m required to work 7 hours a day, 5 days a week–but the aggregate salary is a flat rate that never changes, so it’s not like I get paid additional money for spending 10 hours at work instead of 7. As for whether the people in line “should” be at work: 1) we don’t know their work hours; and 2) I’ll bet a number of them are office workers from the surrounding blocks. I work around the corner, and while it’s not my thing, I know a lot of people that would get up a couple of hours early because they love the Rack and they’d enjoy the chance to win a gift card or whatnot. If store access starts at 8:30, many people in line would reasonably be finished around 9:30 or 10:00, which is well within the start of the workday if you’re a nearby salaried employee with some schedule flexibility.

      • Exactly. If you saw the line for Boloco just across the street when they were giving away free stuff then this should be no surprise. There are droves of people who work nearby with relatively easy access and minimal inconvenience.

  • Anonymous

    They were giving away one $1000 shopping trip and 30 $100 gift cards. Many people left when the doors opened.

  • Maybe I’m just cheap but I’ve never really found anything of substance there. In fact, the only reason I go to Nordstrom Rack is because they sell my eye makeup remover, of all things!

  • manimal

    maybe it’s the line for the metro

    • Anonymous

      Or a new cupcake shop.

  • Anonymous

    This morning I won a $100 gift card to use at Rack, regular Nordstrom, or nordstrom.com and was at my desk by 8:45 am. Not a bad start to my morning!

    A lot of the people were waiting to try to win a gift card and then were heading to work after–not to shop in store today.

    • Anonymous

      That’s awesome!

  • Hahah, I was there on Tuesday night for a private event and took all the good stuff. :) Suckers.

    • Ditto. Had a few glasses of cheap cava and picked up some cheap accessories. Good deals all around.

  • Apparently the line stretched all the way to the Nordstrom Rack in Friendship Heights.

    • anon

      There’s a Rack at Pentagon City. Jesus.

  • bookworm

    There was never a line that long when it was a bookstore.

    RIP Borders (and American literacy)

    (yeah, yeah, it’s all for some gift cards, whatever)

    • Anonymous

      Actually, if Borders had ever given away gift cards, I probably *would* have stood in that line! (Borders was my stomping ground in high school–I was a shy, nerdy teenager, in addition to being an aspiring writer–so I’ll always have a little nostalgia for the place.)

  • Julia

    yea they gave away 30 $100 gift cards and 1 $1000 gift card so it was worth waiting for! Pretty average merchandise once inside, but with $100 more to my name. Also they gave us breakfast and free umbrellas and totes.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I work in the office building it’s attached to. I noticed the line starting to form at 7:30 this morning. I am not at all interested in going in there for at least the first few weeks or until the hysteria dies down. But then again I do most of my shopping online, so meh.


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