Archive for the ‘Retail’ Category


Why I love Nordstrom

February 21, 2009

Sometimes simple and thoughtful efforts on the part of a business can go a long way towards winning the hearts of customers. In this difficult economic time I have been watching how various businesses have approached this issue. Somehow Nordstrom, clearly an up market retailer, is finding a way to position itself appropriately with customers in the midst of the Great Recession. The below letter appears inside the cover of the latest Nordstrom catalog to arrive in my mail.

We at Nordstrom recognize that these are challenging times for us all. Now more than ever, we feel it’s important for us as a company to focus on what we can do to make a difference to you, our customer.

We know the things you appreciate every day, like great quality and outstanding value, are even more important to you right now. So we wanted you to know that our buyers are working hard to find the best items and best values from the brands you love. In fact, it’s our long-standing tradition to offer you the best possible prices, every day of the year. We do it by pricing all of out items fairly to begin with – without relying on one-day sales, discounts, coupons or other gimmicks. And, we constantly shop other stores so that we can guarantee you the best price on our merchandise.

The bottom line is: you’ll never pay more at Nordstrom. And if, by chance, you ever find one of our items priced lower somewhere else, or you receive a coupon that discounts any item we offer, just let us know. We’ll gladly beat that price.

We think of these extraordinary times as yet another chance to earn your business. And, we sincerely hope that your pleasure in shopping at Nordstrom always equals ours in serving you.


Blake Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, Erik Nordstrom

Even in these trying times we will all allow ourselves a little luxury now and then. I know where I will go when I do. And, I know where I will shop when the good times roll again.


Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods

November 14, 2005

Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods

This is an appreciation of these two fine stores, from the perspective of both marketer and consumer.

I could buy 90% of all I need in the food/household supplies categories at these two stores. I would need to stop by the chain supermarket or Target for some things like batteries, medicine, cat litter, etc. I also get some nice organic produce delivered to the house every other week by Pioneer Organics.

Whole Foods appeals based on purity, excitement, goodness, wonder, fantasy, light, and air.

Trader Joe’s appeals based on value, variety, humor, practicality, and the feeling of the bazaar.

When you visit WF you enter a world of sunlight, green fields, and endless optimism. The experience they provide is different from almost any other grocery store. The ceilings stretch upwards and the aisles beckon. The corners are clean and the air smells fresh. Compare any one of these to your standard grocery store, or even your local “high end” grocery store, and you see the difference. It always comes back to the light for me. Being in a WF is like being outside. Everything glows. The pleasure comes in the abundance, the tastes, the purity, and the sense of a better world. This is shopping for the soul.

The experience is almost the exact opposite at TJs. The stores are small, narrow, and cramped with food and people. The ceilings are low and the air is compressed around me. It is a scramble to find all the goodies and then get in line. But the joy is in the hunt, the bargains, and the feeling of being in another country altogether. This is shopping for the mind.

I spend too much money at both of these stores, but can’t really get enough.

Visit one or both today. Enjoy the theater of it all.

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