The Seattle family has been in their own business for over a century. # k5evening
SEATTLE – What’s the name? For the Nordstrom family, it’s been more than 120 years of learning what customers want.
Jamie Nordstrom said, “It’s always an honor when someone says, ‘Oh, Nordstrom, like the store?”
It all started in 1901, when Jamie’s great-grandfather, John W. Nordstrom, opened a shoe store with the help of his business partner and friend, Carl Wallin, at Seattle’s Four and Pike.
The founders went above and beyond and even kept shoe sizes on file.
“And for the customer, it was great service,” Jamie said.
Jamie’s cousin Pete Nordstrom said, “Whatever we become is something that has evolved over the years.”
Today, it is a publicly traded company with more than $15 billion in global revenue. Jamie is Nordstrom’s store manager, while Pete serves as president.
Pete looks at second-hand store catalogs the way some people look at their high school yearbooks.
“That might be the first shoe I ever sold,” he said, pointing to the page of a ’70s catalog featuring a $20 pair of sneakers, “A 16th Anniversary Sale age, when I first started.”
The annual anniversary sale, which includes hot new items at huge discounts, remains the company’s main activity.
“Generations of our customers have scheduled their summer vacations around this event,” says Jamie.
About half of the company’s business is now through online sales, but Nordstroms still considers the physical marketplace at the heart of its operations. Pete watched it closely.
“I try to stand back and look at it like a customer would,” he said, “I mean, really basic stuff. Are they having fun? Are they smiling? We’re greeting customers. ?Does the store look attractive?”
Nordstrom’s 70,000 employees from coast to coast have had to innovate to stay competitive.
“Let’s make the business relevant,” said Pete.
Personal stylists like Kathy Brown have expanded into the online world.
“It changed my business quite a bit,” Brown said.
“We have a lot of salespeople who currently do most of their business through things like Instagram and Snapchat,” says Jamie.
Brown added, “I have clients in Hawaii and Utah.”
RELATED: See inside Nordstrom with ‘The Nordy Pod’
Pete is connecting with customers through “Nordy Pod,” an honest and revealing podcast featuring thinkers and doers ranging from actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba to Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper.
“Ask questions and learn about people’s journeys,” says Pete.
The podcast also goes deep behind the scenes of the company, including candid discussions among Nordstrom family members. It’s just the latest authentic customer experience from one company and one family, done for over a century.
Jamie said, “It’s a pretty good working model for us.”
This year’s Norstrom Anniversary Sale begins July 15. Click this link for an online preview.
https://www.king5.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/evening/when-your-name-is-nordstrom/281-6352caad-faee-4726-8138-5adbf4375ab6 When your name is Nordstrom