Tuesday, February 17, 2009

3 Reasons I Shop at Nordstrom

About a month ago, I visited the Nordstrom in Natick, MA during their post-holiday Men's sale. I spotted a nifty Tommy Bahama half-zip sweater I really liked. Unfortunately, it was *not* on sale and at $85 I gave it a pass.

Yesterday, I was in their Burlington location and saw the sweater on sale for $41.90. Unfortunately, they didn't have my size. When I asked the salesperson (Natacha) whether they could help me find my size, she went over to a checkout counter and within a couple of seconds she advised that the only store in the company that had the item I was looking for was in New Jersey. She said she could call them and have it shipped to my house for free. Rather than have me wait around, she took my contact information and said she'd call me later in the day to let me know if she could track it down.

Sure enough, a little while later she left a message on my cell phone and said she did indeed have the item and asked that I call her back with my credit card information if I'd like to have it shipped out. I called her this morning and completed the transaction (she gave me her business card so it was easy to reach her.) It couldn't have been any easier.

This interaction is so superior to typical retail customer service I don't know where to begin. All of this for a lousy $40 sweater! Amazing.

Three reasons I shop at Nordstrom:
  1. They give you first class service even when shopping for deeply discounted items.
  2. They carry brands that are interesting to me. Not so high end as to be ridiculously expensive and pretentious, and not so low end that they're available elsewhere for significantly less.
  3. They don't put Christmas decorations up until after Thanksgiving.
For me, there's something about Nordstrom that aligns with my values as a shopper. Service oriented- not pretentious. I see this kind of relative positioning in other industries as well:

Nordstrom is to Neiman Marcus as the Four Seasons is to the Ritz Carlton. As BMW is to Mercedes. Intuitive customer service before appearance of wealth.

Update (2/19/2009): My item showed up today (2 days after I placed the order) and it was just what I was expecting. Not only that, but the tag on the sweater was marked $49.90 (as opposed to the $41.90 I paid) and the receipt in the box also mentioned $10 shipping (which was waived.) My credit card was charged $41.90 just as I expected it would be. Well done, Nordstrom!

What do you think? Is Nordstrom as great as I'm making it out to be?

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