Sounds like combining the one drawback of online - you can't see, touch, try on the actual merchandise - with the inconvenience of a store (how clunky did that "curbside pickup" sound as you know that won't be seamless).
As a small business owner, in the marketing trade, most people that go to stores wish to try things on before they buy. If they wish to purchase online, they will do so and have it sent to their house.
I get the whole point with personal stylist and I can see them doing this in very specialty markets with clients who may go in for that sort of thing.
A woman calls her "stylist" and a shop and tells her she's going to a party Saturday night and to pull some outfits for her. She goes, tries a bunch on and buys one. Of course, the stuff is there to try on.
I'll hand it to them for thinking outside the box. I wish them well.
I agree it would not be for me. Having said that, if they are trying it I assume they have done their research and think it could work. It will be interesting to see what happens in a year. Certainly AAAC members are not their target audience.
This reminds me of Bonobo's model. They carried partial inventories in small, rowhouse sized stores to overlap most styles and sizes, and a stylist would make suggestions of size/fit or additional items. I once tried to buy a coat only to be told "nothing in this store is for sale, but we can have it shipped to you."
Imagine the overbearing stylist without anything to try on. You may as well just buy online through free shipping and returns, why even bother with the store.
I think we're looking at it from the wrong perspective, or perhaps, dynamic. Because we think of Nordstrom as a B&M store with lots of stuff available to be bought, changing it to this seems like a bad step away from that model. But suppose your regular tailor told you that they were now adding as a service the ability to buy accessories and were bringing in associates to assist less knowledgeable customers - your reaction might be very different, along the lines of, this makes sense, it's good they're expanding their offerings, etc.
And - approximately - this is apparently what Nordstrom is doing.