Nordstrom has started presale for first markdown. The sale officially starts May 26th and the discount on most designer items is 40% off.
The assortment of designer merchandise really depends on the location of your Nordstrom store. We were recently told that there are three locations that carry Chanel -- Mall of America, Minnesota, Topanga, Calif and Downtown Seattle. Personally, we have had lots of luck tracking down hot items from the Houston and Phoenix Nordstrom stores.
Generally speaking, Nordstrom is known for their fantastic customer service. A good sales person can usually track down about anything if you take the time to create a relationship. In addition, the designer collection section of Nordstrom.com tends to stock a attractive assortment.