Nordstrom was founded in 1901 by Carl Wallin and John Nordstrom as a shoe retailer in Seattle, acquiring the name Nordstrom in 1930 after Nordstrom’s sons acquired the company fully. The company expanded exponentially in Northwestern U.S. by opening and acquiring other shoe retailers and clothing stores, before going public in 1971. The first store outside the Northwest opened in California in 1978, before expanding to the East Coast in 1988 and the Midwest in 1991 (Spector & McCarthy 13).
Nordstrom uses the omnichannel retail strategy, which includes the use of telephone communication, mobile applications, social media, FAQ web-pages, and physical locations. This strategy enables the customer to be in frequent contact with Nordstrom using more than one avenue (Spector & McCarthy 15). For instance, customer can purchase products featured on Nordstrom’s Instagram page while staff can merchandise stores using the Pinterest page. In addition, popular items from social media and FAQ webpage purchases are featured more in the physical locations.
All Nordstrom stores have similar visual design so that clients know what to expect in various locations across the country. For example, all physical stores have a racetrack design with an aisle between mini boutiques and departments leading customers throughout the store (Spector & McCarthy 20). Each department at Nordstrom has a variety of fixtures such as rounders and straight tracks for clothing departments, most of which have the features items on mannequins or 4-way fixtures to grab shoppers’ attention.
Nordstrom is a luxury department store which caters to upscale consumers, competing with Bloomingdale, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus among other high-end stores. The Nordstrom Rack stores cater to middle-class clients, in competition with TJX Companies and Ross Stores, and sell overstocked merchandise and out-of-season products at a discount (Spector & McCarthy 18). Further, Nordstrom’s investment in digital retail channels and acquisition of brands such as TopShop is targeted at millennials between the ages of sixteen and thirty four.
Nordstrom’s core value is to satisfy the customer at all costs within reason. To achieve this, Nordstrom requires employees to use good judgment and trust each other’s ability and integrity, while also empowering their employees to take initiative and support each other in delivering exceptional customer service (Spector & McCarthy 28). Nordstrom also values respectful, honest, and open communication, and also recognizes outstanding performance regularly either in providing customer service or supporting those providing customer service.
Nordstrom maintains its vitality through strategic design execution and customized brand development. In this case, Nordstrom’s brand is associated with customer service, which is achieved through their attention to detail in customer experience and empowerment of employees (Spector & McCarthy 26). Together, these factors enable Nordstrom to create brand awareness and associate this brand with customer service. Nordstrom is a luxury brand that delivers a seamless shopping experience and a consistent brand image, and strives to ensure that brand behavior exceeds brand promise.
Nordstrom is committed to providing excellent customer service through policies that emphasize customer experience. Nordstrom provides customers with an array of channels through which they can purchase products, while also making it easier to buy across brands using centralized customer information (Spector & McCarthy 23). Nordstrom also allows customers to shop in a variety of ways such as curbside pickup, buying by text, and in-store purchasing. Finally, Nordstrom also engages with customers online and through social media to improve their experience.
Nordstrom employed at least 72,000 employees by 2015 and made revenues of $14.437 billion (nasdaq.com 1). Further, Nordstrom’s operating income for 2015 was $1.101 billion and a net income of $600 million. In addition, the company had total assets of $7.7 billion during the same period, which was a decline from the previous years when total assets amounted to $9.25 billion. Finally, Nordstrom had total equity of $871 million in 2015, while its current share price is $45.86 (nasdaq.com 1).
- Spector, Robert, and Patrick D. McCarthy. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook for Becoming the “nordstrom” of Your Industry. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2012. Print.
- nasdaq.com. Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) Key Financial Ratios. 12 December 2017. 12 December 2017 http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/jwn/financials?query=ratios