Nordstrom is an enduring symbol of economic prosperity in the 20th century United States Essay


            Nordstrom is an enduring symbol of economic prosperity in the 20th century United States. It is a corporate success story which stands apart from lesser performance in business terms (Nordstrom Inc. 2007) by other sectors such as the once-glorious automobile manufacturers of Detroit. The company has impressive growth and profitability records (Nordstrom Inc. 2007).

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            Nordstrom is a powerful demonstration of the powers of Service Marketing (Payne, 2002). It has no significant lines of revenue from proprietary products and services: shelves of the company stores are full of brands which are also available elsewhere: only outstanding services add the kinds of values which keep foot-fall going.

            The pinnacle of success is an opportune time for review. Demographic, infrastructural, and macro-economic changes pose new challenges to established champions of U.S. commerce and industry such as Nordstrom. Will this corporation continue its impressive track record well in to the future, or does it need to look at its enterprise in new ways?

            This document uses a consumer behavior perspective to project Nordstrom in to the new millennium which is already well under way. It uses store visits, interviews with various stake holders, especially customers and employees, to draw inferences about how Nordstrom can do even better in the future than it has in the past. The work has been done on a qualitative basis, without the application of quantitative yardsticks for statistical validity. However, the surveys have been at random and without any conscious bias, and the report is written as closely as possible to reflect genuine trends discerned.

            The specific recommendations for better business results, addressed to Nordstrom store managers, just before the concluding section of this document, mean no criticism of the company. It is truly difficult for consultants of any hue to conceive of maintaining, not to speak of improving the kind of financial results (Nordstrom Inc. 2007) of which Nordstrom can boast. Nevertheless, perfection is illusory, so there is always relevance for objective enquiry.

Physical Store Environment

            Physical evidence is always an integral element of the Services Marketing Mix (Payne, 2002). This element adds value to the corporate brand, and helps in differentiation from generic and specialized competitors. The survey on which this document is based, established a distinct co-relation between premium quality, and a superior shopping experience on the one hand, and the physical lay out of a typical Nordstrom outlet. Similarly, the colors, lay outs and graphics (The glitterati, 2007) of the company web site, also convey premium qualities for browsers. The physical store environment of Nordstrom is used effectively to brand the company in the minds of customers.

            Convenience and openness are hallmarks (Spector, 2000); there are many comfortable places where customers can sit. No one is harried for browsing even if no purchase is made. Rest rooms and catering facilities are clean, well laid out, and meet top international standards. Assistants are always within eye sight, and appear keen to serve in friendly manner. Displays are creative and attractive. Store ambience is no less than that of up-market specialty outlets, and generally better than that of discount stores. The overall shopping experience is so exceptional that random observation will show significant foot fall without any significant buying intentions. Surveys show that some customers look forward to store visits more to relax than with any specific expenditure budget in mind.

            Nordstrom has some tangential presence in Europe, but it is an almost entirely pan U.S. chain. It is well represented in established urban centers of the country, as well as in newly emerging communities. The company also has an aggressive expansion plan on the anvil (Nordstrom Inc. 2007). The company has over 150 full-line, discount, and clearance outlets, and one which specializes in footwear alone. This translates to an influential presence in the country, which no significant group of domestic consumers can afford to ignore. Location as an element of the Services Marketing Mix is played to the hilt by Nordstrom in its branding effort.

Though Nordstrom has strong traditions, it is not conservative in its approach to customers. The company has developed a significant presence on the World Wide Web, and offers a full service and comprehensive web site. All product lines and service features are available on the Internet, including interactive support and help. Shopping at the web site (The glitterati, 2007) is a pleasant experience. The site is popular and enjoys high reach with increasing web views. A majority of shoppers and browsers surveyed were aware of the other channel: people who shop at the web site have mostly been to physical stores, and shoppers at outlets have visited the web site. Hence, there is a strong induction of customer loyalty between these two major channels.

Though the Physical Evidence element of the Services Marketing Mix is well developed and coordinated at Nordstrom, there are some changes which can be considered for the future.

Firstly, the ambience is somewhat daunting for poorer and immigrant groups. Most respondents, who were not regular visitors at their nearest Nordstrom outlets, were outside the middle and upper echelons of mainstream society. Since African Americans, Hispanics, East Europeans, and Asians are amongst the emerging communities of the U.S. the chain would do well to use colors, symbols, and styles to welcome ethnic minorities more demonstrably.

Secondly, more needs to be done to improve and to accelerate the sales per square foot (Nordstrom Inc. 2007). Random observations show that too many browsers use store resources without actually parting with money. Many spend more time than money in the stores! The company’s reputation for superlative service seems to work against its financial productivity aspects. Some respondents admitted to actually buying goods which they had first seen at a Nordstrom outlet, elsewhere. The chain appears to offer free showrooms to brand owners in some cases!

 Kiosks and mobile sales displays are the kinds of ideas which Nordstrom could use to give impetus to actual spending habits in their stores. The company may also have to be re-visit some of its pricing policies to deter customers from taking their wallets out elsewhere.

Lease rates and ownership values, especially of the older properties (Nordstrom Inc. 2007) may be understated in market and opportunity terms. Therefore, the returns may be much lower than appears from statutory accounting methods. This also means that true contributions from low price and margin items may be lower than optically apparent.

            Some facilities are out of place-fine dining seems a bit excessive in a place where customers are mostly present during week days. Further, the luxurious and deluxe ambience appears to be inappropriate for economy goods on display, especially in sections for children.

            Physical stores are a bit dated compared to the company web site: electronic displays which mark some competing stores are rare or even absent in some sections here.

 Facilities for loyal and returning customers are lacking, except at check-out counters: the chain can do more to recognize and reward regular foot fall.

Overall, every Nordstrom full-line store appears to be ripe for attack by economy players such as Cosco, and this could hurt the chain in lean times.

The Social Environment in Stores

            There is a common perception that the uniformly outstanding social environment in Nordstrom stores is due to the friendly personalities of staff, and because of the special training and culture which the company imparts and builds. There is considerable merit in the view that Nordstrom excels in the People element of the Services Marketing Mix (Payne, 2002). However, one should not lose sight of the way in which Nordstrom intentionally uses the means of planning and lay out to create such engaging atmospheres within their premises. A worthy example is the location of pubs near the men’s section (Spector, 2000). This feature is so liked by working men that it can even be difficult to get seats during peak lunch hours on the average working day. Since Nordstrom also provides a beeper service to intimate waiting customers that a table or a place at the bar has become available, there is a natural tendency for waiting customers to drift towards nearby shelves, and pass time pleasantly. It does appear that Nordstrom has considerable expertise in observing and analyzing consumer behavior, and applying resulting insights to their planning and decision-making processes.

            There is more than friendship and courtesy to the service by Nordstrom staff. It is true that the assistants who never fail to catch your eye are exceptional and far above competing stores in terms of service (Spector, 2000). The People element of the Services Marketing Mix (Payne, 2002) has been so finely honed that Nordstrom has proprietary ways of spotting service talent whenever they recruit new people. It is also known that the company avoids hiring people with prior experience in sales (Spector, 2000) because they prefer to rely on their in-house training programs.

            Employees of Nordstrom are empowered and display great entrepreneurial spirit (Spector, 2000). They are therefore able to attend to customer grievances promptly, and to ensure a nearly ‘zero-defect’ situation with respect to expressed customer satisfaction. Random store visits showed that assistants are capable of handling the most difficult of customers. They engage customers in conversation and strive to build professional relationships with them. The most successful sales people attribute their superlative performances to this capability of forging relationships (Spector, 2000).

            The manner in which Nordstrom cherishes its employees also has much to do with the special social environment which employees are able to create in stores. The company hierarchy is depicted as a reverse pyramid (Spector, 2000) with directors at the bottom of the pile and customers and front-end staff at the top.

            Though the social environment at Nordstrom is a clear competitive strength, there are some improvement areas derived from surveys, web site visits and observations on shop floors, which are worth considering:

            The web site needs more multi-media inputs. It lacks pod casts and needs more video (The glitterati, 2007). Content related to customer experiences, and product demonstrations could add to the web site experience, and build additional business for Nordstrom through this new channel.

            The sales people in physical stores would do well to be more pro-active in offering demonstration services for certain product lines. They should also focus more on closing and be able to courteously confront customers who vacillate at various points of the buying decision-making process.

            The visible white Caucasian dominance is probably unintentional, and may be limited to the stores visited at random times. However, Nordstrom may wish to consider consciously adding more diversity within its ranks. This will help the company empathize fully with some emerging ethnic groups in the U.S. demographics scene, and may also give some insights for future expansion of the company in to other parts of the world.

            Since Nordstrom serves women more extensively than the other sex, it would be worthwhile extending shopping hours, at least for some parts of all stores. Similarly, express counters for some classes of goods, and better promotion of special deals, are all matters which could improve the social environment in stores, and attract value-conscious working women in greater numbers. The present ambience is very laid-back, which is an advantage for certain kinds of shopping, but it does not always suit all consumer buying habits.

            The social environment could also do with more interactive displays and kiosks. Nordstrom may like to consider modernizing its lay outs with respect to changing norms and buying preferences of the younger people of today.

            Finally, the social environment of Nordstrom does little for tourists and for visitors from other North American centers as well. Visits to other competing stores revealed higher proportions of obvious vacationers and foreign tourists. The United States has emerged as a large-volume vacation destination for people from Russia, China, Japan, and the Indian sub-continent. Many of them shop in large groups and spend significant amounts of money. Consumer behavior tends to stretch budgets and to reduce rational elements of buying decisions when on vacation. Nordstrom can rake in additional profits by addressing this particular type of impulse buying by consumers on holidays from the chores of the places where they reside.

            These recommendations for improvements and for new approaches to consumer behavior in some segments should not dilute the fact that Nordstrom sets a gold standard in terms of making shopping a memorable pleasure, with uniquely effective methods of attracting consumer buying decisions in a most competitive setting.

Principal Customer Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Issues

            Options and choices are key determinants of satisfaction of shopping at Nordstrom (Spector, 2000). This is most visible in footwear sections. Though Nordstrom has a store dedicated exclusively to shoes, all full-line stores also stock over 150 thousand pairs (Spector, 2000). The company has at least one pair for every conceivable occasion and to suit all possible tastes. Even half-sizes are freely available. It is almost impossible for a customer to walk in to Nordstrom with an intention to buy new shoes, and to leave dissatisfied. This spirit permeates to other product lines as well, though in less expansive manner.

            The extreme importance with which customers are treated within Nordstrom premises is a source of satisfaction in its own right. Store visits proved that stepping on to the streets once again after an extended stint inside Nordstrom can be quite a let down! The company’s way of depicting its organization as an inverted with customers at the top and the most senior executives at the bottom, is more than a symbol. Customers are truly royalty at Nordstrom. There is a genuine and unremitting effort to please shoppers, and to meet every feasible request promptly and with extreme courtesy.

            The company has made concrete efforts to deal with all aspects of consumer behavior which detract from spending and awarding custom. Nordstrom scores above even indirect competition by going the proverbial extra mile to meet hidden consumer requirements which others do not even consider. The beeper to inform shoppers that a table is ready for them is a powerful example (Spector, 2000). This is something other dining establishments do not offer, and catering is just an ancillary service at Nordstrom! Perhaps the company has its own axe to grind in keeping customers from leaving a store because there is no table ready at a restaurant, but the convenience and value added in consumer behavior terms in unbeatable. Even waiting for a meal or a drink at Nordstrom is a pleasant experience!

            The concierge service (Spector, 2000) at Nordstrom is an added advantage for senior citizens, but it also impacts consumer behavior positively for all age groups. Observation of shopper behavior shows that only a few of the people entering stores actually ask for or use the service, but all of them appreciate it. The very sight of the desk with capable behind it who are easy to approach, adds to the confidence and satisfaction of shoppers. It is surprising that many competitors have not emulated this cost-effective customer satisfaction mode. This applies to the shoe-shine service (Spector, 2000) as well, since men appreciate it greatly, and since it does not cost much to the company to maintain.

            Piped music adds a soothing touch to any ambience and always contributes to customer satisfaction as long as it is not so loud so as to be a distraction or an intrusion. The live pianist at Nordstrom (Spector, 2000) adds a special touch with recorded music cannot achieve.

            The salons (Spector, 2000) also contribute greatly to customer satisfaction. The fits of facials with cosmetics, of pedicures with footwear, and of beauty treatment with apparel, all point to brilliant insights in to consumer behavior by Nordstrom. These are excellent examples of horizontal integration designed to maximize customer satisfaction. Surveys showed the highest degrees of satisfaction amongst all categories of Nordstrom shoppers from the ranks of those who had spent time and money at the salons.

            Customer loyalty privileges at Nordstrom meet standard industry norms (Spector, 2000), but the usual creative touch of the company is lacking in this area. However, the surveys on which this document is based did not reveal any specific dissatisfaction with the loyalty rewards system and the recognition granted to regular and premium clientele.

            Preferential Customer Services is an important element of the Services Marketing Mix (Payne, 2002). Most service providers ignore this element, do not appreciate its value fully, or deal with it inappropriately. Though there is nothing creative in the way Nordstrom rewards loyal clientele, it is simply brilliant in treating each unit of its daily foot fall in a special way. The staff excels at relationship building (Spector, 2000). This is not related directly to regular custom. Every customer is treated with due importance and courtesy. The result is that customers keep returning on their own, and provide word-of-mouth promotion support for the corporate brand at the same time.

            Strengths can also be weaknesses in some circumstances. The axes of customer satisfaction can detract value for some clients and groups. It is not easy for example, to buy a gift in a hurry at Nordstrom, because the number of choices is so overwhelming, and because the store ambience does not lend itself to shopping quickly. The choice may also confuse some categories of customers. It certainly stalls consumer decision-making in some cases. Observations show that some customers change their minds even after a sale has been closed, which must impact store profitability at some level. Competitive moves by stores such as Cosco (Spector, 2000) indicate that the extensive choice offered by Nordstrom must add to the cost structure.

            The cost structure is a source of such dissatisfaction that it has been the subject of legal action by customers (Nordstrom Inc. 2007). It is significant that the company has chosen to seek a settlement of the matter, rather than to vindicate its stand and actions in the matter. Since the company stores stock brands owned by others, they are also available at various outlets. Surveys show that shoppers may browse at Nordstrom but make their final purchase decisions elsewhere. This reduces the company to a showroom for the brands of others. It also exposes the company to critical comments by competitors who offer economy as a special value to consumers. The experience of finding goods at lower prices at other stores is universally disturbing for anyone who has shopped at a Nordstrom store.

            This document is prepared in May 2007, a period of relative prosperity in the United States. Dissatisfaction levels will probably be much higher on the price front, should the work be repeated during an economic slow down in the country. Similarly, higher interests costs would affect inventory holding costs of maintaining such an enormous range of options and choices of all product categories. Working capital demands may begin to affect the company’s ability to invest in new stores, and to upgrade its web site and keep pace with rapid changes in electronic commerce technologies. It is significant that Nordstrom has spent large amounts in new Information Technology ((Nordstrom Inc. 2007); it will need cash flows to keep such investments going in the near future.

            Nordstrom has a returns policy which is more liberal than that of its competitors (Nordstrom Inc. 2007). Such policies may not contribute to direct dissatisfaction as such, but are they responsible for pushing up retail prices at the company’s stores without concomitant benefits?

            It is a fact that the Cosco model of low service and limited choices also satisfy customers (Spector, 2000). Is Nordstrom over emphasizing customer satisfaction to the extent of declining returns? All demographic groups may not respond to the luxuries of so many choices and such pampering in productive ways.

            There are several ways in which Nordstrom can look at customer satisfaction in new ways, and improve its productivity ratios at the same time. It may wish to consider fewer choices per product category, and offer more product categories and services instead. This will also help drive foot fall up further. The company can also reduce choices and stocking of rare sizes and divert resources to new price points such as luxury custom-made footwear.

            A major customer behavior issue with respect to Nordstrom relates to goodwill for the company name. Surveys show that the Nordstrom brand is stronger in customer minds than even some of the brands which the company stores stock. The leakage of brand value from the company to relatively minor brands may have some short term margin implications, but makes Nordstrom vulnerable in the long term. The company already takes risks that popular brands of apparel, footwear, and cosmetics are available at lower prices elsewhere (Nordstrom Inc. 2007). The company can leverage customer satisfaction better by asking some of its smaller vendors to offer products and services directly under Nordstrom labels. Investments in continued customer satisfaction will be more secure through this route, and it makes better sense as well, in consumer behavior terms.


            Segmentation is a fundamental starting point for constructing a Services Marketing Mix, and differentiating an organization in a field with dense generic competition (Payne, 2002). Nordstrom does not make any public statement about its positioning strategy (Nordstrom Inc. 2007) but observations of its stores, customers, and the web site (The glitterati, 2007) shows that the company is focused, perhaps unconsciously, on the baby boomer generation of the last century. Its functions are strongly wedded to social norms of such past institutions as the housewife with plenty of time on her hands, and money to boot. The company does not ignore men: advertisement campaigns have emphasized that men of all shapes and sizes can fight perfectly fitting suits in Nordstrom stores (Spector, 2000).

            The chosen segmentation of the company has served it well until now. However, it may be less than the best for the future. This is because important demographic and social changes have taken place in the United States. Some of these changes are global in nature, and will be relevant when Nordstrom spreads its wings to other countries and to leading economies of the world.

            The company has a full line of apparel and footwear for children. However, the appeal is largely through mothers in consumer behavior and decision-making terms. This was suitable for the days when today’s adults were children, but it is increasingly irrelevant for today’s young. Surveys show that customer satisfaction at Nordstrom reaches its nadir when teenagers and adolescents are asked for their opinions. This does not bode well for the company. Nordstrom will have to learn new lessons in how to appeal directly to children.

            Icon power holds the key to the decision-making processes in children with respect to things they buy to wear. Such figures may be from the worlds of sports and glamour, or they may even be entirely imaginary. There is little evidence that Nordstrom is aware of such trends or that it respects decision-making by children in the first place. Nordstrom does recognize children as a valid segment, but deals with them through their mothers.

            Working women, single women, older women with reasonable disposable incomes, and homosexual women, are all important groupings within the original cluster of the female shopper. Again, Nordstrom has failed so far to take cognizance of dramatic changes in the thinking and values of some parts of its traditional strong hold.

            New segments have emerged in the United States, and will be lost to Nordstrom if the company continues to ignore them. Years of relative economic progress have created new wealth in hitherto poor quarters of the country. Nordstrom has to reach out to these groups and extend recognizable welcomes to them. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Chinese, and successful immigrants from the erstwhile Soviet bloc, are examples of this phenomenon.

            There are other behavioral changes in customers that span all clusters. These arise from globalizations and new relationships within the family structure and between communities as well. People are now more wary of final decisions and careful with their money than in the halcyon days of the economic boom. This is especially true of some of the major product lines in which Nordstrom deals. Extreme price consciousness, concern for the environment, and resistance to blatant brand building efforts, are a few of the cardinal changes in values which have begun to affect consumer behavior.

            Hardened consumers of today do not hesitate to segregate free service from their purchase decisions. Nordstrom may be culturally attuned to offering top service whether a person parts with money or not, but this strength of yesteryear needs some modifications in the current scenario. Company personnel need to improve their skills in aggressive selling (without causing offence); they should also improve skills related to closing deals with the friends they are accustomed to make of customers.

            The run away success of social networking on the Internet is another indicator of sea changes in consumer thinking. This is not to suggest that Nordstrom should venture in to the dark waters of dating and adult activities which sites such as offer, but rather to focus on the legitimate and socially acceptable opportunities that such forums present to marketers. The present lay out of the company’s site suits its traditionally served segments, but Nordstrom must offer modern features and formats, and make its presence felt on the most trend-setting parts of the World Wide Web.

            Overall, Nordstrom has to catch a bus in to the future in terms of segmentation. It should undertake this part of the Services Marketing process afresh (Payne, 2002) and address issues related to customer types, habits, needs, and decision-making with open minds. The company in its present forms, lacks the resilience to withstand economic downturns, and the responsiveness (except in fashion terms) to adapt to rapid social changes.

Environmental Issues

            The company’s sites are wasteful of natural resources. No conservation measures are apparent. Organic cotton, canvas footwear, and cosmetics without animal testing, are all studiously ignored, especially if comparisons are made with stores which specialize in such values and products. No special efforts to reduce waste or to recycle it are evident. Statutory company statements make no references to such issues. Nordstrom has no pretensions about environmental conservation. Surveys do not show that the company suffers significantly on account of such negligence because these matters may not be as pressing in the minds of U.S. consumers, unlike some of their European counterparts.

Recommendations for Profitability Improvement

            It is not easy to make suggestions for improvement to people as successful as store managers of Nordstrom! Moreover, most suggestions cannot be implemented by store managers alone, in a company with such high degrees of involvement of personnel at all levels of organization. Nevertheless, the following ideas, which arise out of the foregoing sections of this document, may help the company consolidated its profitability and market share:

1.                  Range of choices within a product category: eliminate sizes, brands, and styles which make only marginal contributions to profitability. Benchmark product ranges in this respect, against competing chains such as Cosco.

2.                  Cater to economy needs: offer ‘Last Chance’ (Nordstrom Inc. 2007) at full-line outlets, so that customers can avail of more opportunities for savings.

3.                  Unit-wise margins: identify facilities which take up resources disproportionate to their value deliveries. Fine dining restaurants may be examples of such waste.

4.                  Horizontal integration: consider contributions from services unrelated to main product lines such as mammograms, and withdraw them if they do not contribute to branding. Introduce instead, horizontal integration in areas related to footwear, apparel, children, family matters, and cosmetics. Chiropractors, fitness services, special diet foods, beauty advice, and hobbies for children, are possible examples of products and services which will improve profitability and add to customer satisfaction at the same time. Alcohol, prescription medicines, and consumer health products are other items to consider because many Nordstrom customers buy these after visiting company stores, and before they return to their places of work, or go back home.

5.                  Ethnicity and demographics: monitor footfall, feedback, and spending by distinct groups of customers, other than middle-class mainstream ones, and benchmark in these respects against the competition.

6.                  Pressure to buy: find non-invasive ways to convert browsing in to cash. Kiosks, interactive displays, and mobile vending within stores are possible ideas.

7.                  Nordstrom fsb ((Nordstrom Inc. 2007): offer full-service banking, especially related to the company’s major revenue lines, and consider adding consumer durables for the home also in this respect.

8.                  The company brand: leverage goodwill for the company name by introducing product lines with the Nordstrom name. Vacations, hobbies, and entertainment are some sectors with high margins and relevance of typical Nordstrom customers.

9.                  Low seasons: even out sales during the first and third quarters (Nordstrom Inc. 2007) by introducing seasonal products and services, as well as through aggressive promotions.

10.              Cost structure: introduce JIT (Just in Time), MRP (Materials Requirements Planning), and consignment stocking to control inventory costs (Nordstrom Inc. 2007).

11.              Pricing: strengthen compliance with anti-competition law (Nordstrom Inc. 2007).

12.              Loyalty: improve loyalty programs, using airlines and hotels as indirect benchmarks. Make it easier for casual shoppers to become regulars, and offer more flexibility for redemptions of points earned. Also, make recognition of returning and regular customers more evident.

13.              Internet leverage: strengthen web site interaction; coordinate promotion across channels; encourage shoppers and browsers to connect and to share experiences on the web. Use multi-media inputs through pod casts and videos.

14.              Modernization: introduce more visible product demonstrations inside stores. Launch novelties, and make greater efforts to stimulate interest and make store ambience more dynamic than at present.

15.              Tourists: introduce gift items and things which out-of-towners can buy; promote store visits in city hotels.

16.              Environmental consciousness: use ISO 14001 to improve conservation, recycling, and waste reduction measures.

17.              Hard sell: impart training to assistants to close sales more often and sooner as well. Track browsers who leave store sections without buying anything, and help responsible staff improve their track records in this respect over time.

18.              Store hours: stay open longer, and cut back on holidays in order to give shoppers more time to visit stores.

19.              Express counters: make buying standard items, the most popular brands, and things with short re-purchase cycles quicker and easier for shoppers to replenish.

20.              Deals: promote special offers more prominently to attract shoppers who crave bargains.


            Nordstrom is a profitable and growing enterprise without any significant revenues from proprietary products or exclusive services which competitors cannot copy. Its entire competitive advantage is built from superlative services at a vast U.S. network of conveniently located stores. The enterprise is therefore a powerful example of the power of understanding customer behavior and integrating such insights in to management decisions.

            Nordstrom faces a major challenge from the changing demographics of U.S. society. The company is strongly focused on the mainstream segment which dominated the domestic retail scene during the formative years of the business. Continuing its track record of excellent business results, and taking the company to a higher plane of operations, requires that Nordstrom addresses emerging customer segments with the same dedication that it has shown to earlier clusters.

            Nordstrom is also dependent on continuing prosperity in the United States. It sells generic product lines and the brands of others at significant premiums. It courts customers excessively, without apparent regard to productivity. The company should prepare for attack from competitors who focus on price during possible downturns in the country’s economic cycles of the future.


Payne, A, 2002, The Essence of Services Marketing, Prentice-Hall

Spector, R, 2000, Lessons from the Nordstrom Way: How Companies are Emulating the #1 Customer Service Company, John Wiley and Sons

Nordstrom Inc. 2007 SEC Filings, New York Stock Exchange Web site, accessed May 2007 from

The glitterati, 2007, Nordstrom company web site, accessed May 2007 from


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