Department stores usually do not offer large discounts and sell merchandise at or near the suggested retail price. Thus the basic characteristic of department stores common across all the stores of this category is the division of the management into a central management that formulates the overall policies and department heads responsible for policies related to the department. Nordstorm shares these characteristics with other department stores. It is a large chain, with various departments that specialize in clothes, shoes, jewelry and cosmetics. Other retailers in the US that can be categorized as department stores include JC Penny, Sears and Macy's. Level of Service Nordstorm is known for its high level of service. Nordstorm's service level can be classified as a full service as the retailers offers a variety of services including a liberal return policy and focuses on the formulation of a personal relationship with the customers. Nordstorm invests in training its sales people and rewards those who bring in high sales volume. While Nordstorm is at one end of the continuum providing high levels of service, Walmart is an example of a store at the opposite end since it provides a very low level of customer service. A typical Walmart store usually has very few personnel to help the customers with the purchase. Getting personalized help at Walmart can be a challenge. Since Walmart employees are not involved in the customer's purchase decisions, they cannot take credit for a sales and hence cannot receive commission for achieving high sales. Retail Marketing Mix The six Ps of the retail marketing mix are product, place, price, promotion, personnel and presentation. Nordstorm retails only high quality products that are carefully chosen for styles and colors and inventoried in optimum quantities. This careful research on the products allows Nordstorm to sell their merchandise at the maximum suggested retail price while keeping their customers happy at having bought good quality products. Unlike its competitors, Nordtrom does not compete on price an rarely has in-store sales. Most Nordstorm stores are in shopping malls or shopping plazas where a large number of potential customers routinely walk into the store. Since Nordstorm is usually the anchor stores in these high traffic malls, they face minimal competition from other stores in the mall. Coupled with their excellent customer service, once a potential customer walks into their store, they are much more likely to make a purchase. Nordstorm is also careful about selecting locations and thus not only depend on demographics and statistics but also gets a feel of the type of customers that frequent a location and their buying habits. All these factors, make Nordstorm's locations an asset and allows them to make high same store profits. Nordstorm stores are well lighted with all the merchandise easily accessible. The store windows are well decorated and attract customers who may be just walking by. Thus the presentation also plays an important role in improving sales at Nordstorm stores. However, the most important asset in the Nordstorm system are its sales people who work hard at every single purchase and
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Nordstorm Type of Retailer Nordstorm is one of the leading national chain retailers in the US. As of January 29, 2011, Nordstrom had a total of 204 stores across the US (Annual Report, 2010). Nordstorm can be classified as a department store retailer. A department store is a store that carries a wide variety of merchandise, including apparels, cosmetics, jewelry, household goods and electronics…
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