The Nordstrom Formula: Service x 3
By George Anderson
The secret to Nordstrom’s success is service, service, service. The retailer, more than any of its current rivals many would argue, has turned the art of customer care into a winning strategy for business growth.
A report in the Los Angeles Times says the department store chain is actively seeking new locations to open stores as consumers respond to its personal way of doing business.
Robert Buchanan of A.G. Edwards & Sons said, “Customer service, by and large for the department stores, is still abysmal.”
The fact that Nordstrom is exemplary in this area, said Mr. Buchanan, means the retailer does not “have to change its plan one iota.”
Ann Harrison, a 46-year-old substitute teacher who lives in Fullerton, Cal., offers a consumer’s insight into why shoppers choose Nordstrom.
“I like that they will help you and go get clothes for you,” she said. “Now you go to a store, and salespeople are talking to boyfriends on the phone or to each other. I just got fed up with that. I decided I’ll pay more to get the service [at Nordstrom]. It’s worth it to me.”
Betsy Sanders, a former Nordstrom executive, believes the company does have areas that need improvement. “They have to focus on making the merchandise mix even more special. They have to work harder,” she said.
Moderator’s Comment: Where does Nordstrom fit in the new world of department store retailing following the Federated/May
merger? What will others do to wrestle customers from Nordstrom and what do you expect its response to be? –
George Anderson – Moderator