1: According to legend, a Nordstrom salesperson gladly gave a customer a refund on a set of automobile tires, even though Nordstrom has never sold tires.

The legend is true, write Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in The Nordstrom Way.

In 1975, Nordstrom acquired three stores in Alaska from the Northern Commercial Company, a full‐line department store that sold many products, including tires. After the acquisition, many product lines … continue reading

1: Let’s travel back in time to the 1950s.  Imagine being in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle of the New York City wholesale shoe market.  A shoe representative has just shown off the company’s line to Nordstrom CEO Everett Nordstrom and a young Nordstrom buyer.  

The rep asks Everett for his reaction.  “Don’t talk to me,” says Everett, “Talk to my buyer.”

Yesterday, we looked at the Inverted Pyramid, the upside-down organizational … continue reading

1: Among the paperwork new Nordstrom associates receive on their first day of work is a single notecard entitled “Employee Handbook.”

“Our One Rule: Use good judgment in all situations.”

That’s it.  That’s the handbook.  

“This simple, straightforward directive is the foundation upon which The Nordstrom Way is built because it removes the roadblocks to taking care of the customer,” write Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in their book, The Nordstrom continue reading

1: Imagine standing at a customer service counter.  We have expectations.  A good product.  A fair price.  If there’s an issue, it will be taken care of quickly.  

“Simple stuff, right?” write Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in The Nordstrom Way.

“But a funny thing happens to people when they move to the other side of the customer service counter (or the front desk or the reception area or the phone or Internet) … continue reading

1: “Location, location, location.”  

That was the advice then aspiring restaurateur Danny Meyer was given when selecting a space for his restaurant in New York City.  “This is the idea that you somehow need an upscale address to be considered a great restaurant,” Danny writes in Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.  “Back then, an excellent restaurant was too often confused with an expensive restaurant.”… continue reading