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Tesla teams up with Nordstrom to sell Model X

People shop at The Grove mall in Los Angeles.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
People shop at The Grove mall in Los Angeles.

Tesla is giving men a way to make that dreaded trip to the department store feel like less of a chore.

The electric vehicle maker on Saturday will open a 400-square-foot gallery at the Nordstrom located in one of the country's most lucrative malls, The Grove in Los Angeles.

The partnership is the first of its kind for the automaker, which operates more than a dozen other galleries around the U.S. It will be open through 2016.

"The Nordstrom shopper embodies a lifestyle that parallels that of many Tesla owners — people who are forward-thinking, savvy, and curious to explore the latest and best trends," a Tesla spokeswoman said.

Located in the men's department on Nordstrom's first floor, the gallery will feature Tesla's Model X electric SUV. Shoppers will be able to see the vehicle's various interior and trim options, and go on a demonstration drive with the automaker's employees.

The Tesla spokeswoman said the company is "working on obtaining a sales license for this location, which will allow us to not only demonstrate the vehicles, but to actually sell them as well."

For Nordstrom, the partnership is yet another way to bring innovation into its stores, spokesman Dan Evans said.

"We are investing in lots of ways to make our stores even more compelling and we hope customers want to visit our stores because we always have something new," he said.

Tesla has a history of opening locations in high-end malls and wealthy communities. It lists roughly 100 U.S. stores and galleries on its website. Through its gallery concept, the automaker showcases its vehicles, but sales are not completed on site. That helps it have a presence in states such as Texas, where direct sales of automobiles are not allowed.

At 400 square feet, Tesla's space at The Grove is significantly smaller than its typical gallery location, which tends to measure between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet.

The automaker said it is not announcing any other plans regarding potential partnerships with additional Nordstrom stores or other retailers. Nordstrom's Evans said that it will see how customers respond to this location, but that it is "certainly open to the possibility" of more in the future.