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Nordstrom gala raises $105,000 for local charities

It is billed as the grandest of grand openings at St. Johns Town Center. Devoted local shoppers know it's at 10 a.m. Friday at the new Nordstrom.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new Nordstrom store at the St. Johns Town Center is opening Friday morning. But Wednesday night, a select group got to shop early at the highly touted department store.

It was a night to remember for about 1,400 guests, who were the first to shop the new two-level Nordstrom store while enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvres, buffets, cocktails and live entertainment. The event raised $105,000 for the Cathedral Arts Project, Junior League of Jacksonville and Wolfson Children's Hospital

Wednesday night's theme for the first Northeast Florida brick-and-mortar store was celebrating fashion. There were even live mannequins, which included male and female models (pictured below).

"We have been counting down the days for Nordstrom to open up, and we are just so thrilled to be here," said frequent Nordstrom shopper Francine Palmerie.

Several of the family namesakes came to town to let people know that the party continues when the store officially opens its doors to the public.

"At 10 a.m. on Friday we're going to be opening our doors for the first time. Yes these are big deals for us. We don't open a lot of stores, so it's going to be quite a party, " said Jamie Nordstrom, a fourth-generation Nordstrom.

Nordstrom said the company has been eyeing the St. Johns Town Center for a number of years.

"It's a fantastic retail center. We want to be at the best places in the U.S., and this is certainly right up there," he said.

All of the proceeds from the opening gala went to local charities. It was a win-win for guests because they were helping local nonprofits while wading through aisles of the latest fashions, excited to finally have their favorite store in town.

"By far the best selection of shoes and fashion and jewelry and everything. It's a dream come true for us fashionistas in Jacksonville," said Pamela Jesseau.

There are also eight other new stores opening at the St. Johns Town Center:

  • Boston Proper
  • Disney Store
  • Arhaus Furniture
  • Free People
  • Model Citizen
  • Natural Life
  • Swim N Sport
  • Yankee Candle 

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