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Jamie Nordstrom on Service, Synergies and the ‘Single View’ – WWD

In 2014, Jamie Nordstrom shifted from operating nordstrom.com to turning into president of the division retailer division — a transfer supporting Nordstrom Inc.’s evolution towards integrating its operations.

“There was a time frame for lots of shops like us once we had been managing the dot-com and retailer companies individually, with totally different groups and organizations. Throughout the corporate, in know-how, accounting, finance, the provision chain, HR, we would have liked to rework our considering,” stated Jamie. “The true win would come from having a very built-in method each on-line and in shops, for the merchandise, the messaging and all service contact factors for our clients, be it purchase on-line, decide up in shops, styling, alterations or returns.”

Not many executives in retailing have as a lot expertise throughout promoting channels as Jamie Nordstrom, the cousin of brothers Erik and Pete Nordstrom, respectively Nordstrom Inc.’s chief government officer and president/chief model officer.

Jamie started his profession in 1986 working within the stockroom of Nordstrom’s Bellevue, Wash. retailer, labored in gross sales in footwear by highschool and school, held positions in merchandise administration, retailer administration and shopping for, and from 2005 to 2014, was president of nordstrom.com when the dot-com income grew from $250 million to over $1.6 billion. Dot-com continues to develop, accounting for $5.7 billion, or 55 p.c, of Nordstrom’s $10.33 billion in whole gross sales final 12 months, when the enterprise was severely impacted by the pandemic, and about $5 billion, or 33 p.c, of Nordstrom’s whole gross sales of $15.13 billion in 2019.

Jamie was the imaginative and prescient behind the 2011 Nordstrom acquisition of the HauteLook flash sale web site, and in 2014 he led the launch of nordstromrack.com. As president of the Nordstrom’s department shops, he has been concerned in a number of openings, notably the primary worldwide retailer in Calgary, Canada, and the Manhattan flagship, in addition to closing 16 department shops in a downsizing accomplished final 12 months.

Given all that, it’s not shocking what he appears most pleased with — initiatives to create extra seamless buyer experiences, elevated companies and larger conveniences.

He defined that by integrating the shop and on-line merchandising groups for a companywide “single view” of stock, the salespeople and clients get entry to just about all Nordstrom merchandise “anyplace and anytime.”

“It’s about getting our groups actually targeted on Nordstrom clients versus the shop buyer or the web buyer,” stated Jamie. “It’s one buyer. No person solely retailers in shops or on-line. Greater than 50 p.c of shoppers who store in retailer can have began their purchasing journey on-line with us, and equally a big variety of clients who purchase from us on-line began their journey by seeing a product in-store.”

Nordstrom Inc.’s three-year “Nearer to You” agenda — unveiled final February to media and the investor neighborhood — requires dramatically widening dot-com choices from 300,000 skus to 1.5 million, rising the Rack off-price enterprise by layering in merchandise with decrease costs, and advancing the three-year-old market technique linking and leveraging retailer, distribution and digital belongings, to offer larger companies and conveniences on the native degree with the intent of triggering deeper engagements by customers.

“Purchase on-line, decide up in shops is likely one of the quickest rising elements of the corporate’s enterprise,” stated Jamie. “Having a wide selection of merchandise prepared for next-day pickup at native shops, utilizing all of the stock obtainable in that market, be it from native shops or from on-line, requires lots of people to make that work.”

Because of the market technique, in every of Nordstrom’s high 20 markets, 4 instances extra stock is accessible for next-day pickup of a nordstrom.com order on the most handy, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or Nordstrom Native retailer.

“We now have practically 350 bodily areas to complement our digital capabilities,” stated Jamie. “Within the Los Angeles market alone, we’ve got 16 shops with stock obtainable for next-day pickup on the retailer. Lots of people for no matter motive don’t need merchandise delivered the place they dwell. They really favor selecting it up.”

Requested how far the market technique has progressed, he answered, “I nonetheless assume we’re within the first or second inning on learn how to ship on clients’ more and more excessive expectations. It’s a unending cycle of listening to what the shopper is asking for and getting the crew to ship on that demand.

“Good service is just not the absence of unhealthy service,” Jamie continued. “Good service is usually invisible. You don’t discover it. After we execute properly the shopper says, ‘that’s simply nice.’ They don’t precisely know why we’ve got been capable of make it nice. They don’t know all of the tech and the folks behind the scenes that ship on this.”

He attracts an analogy of being in a high restaurant. “You get your water, after which your water is full once more, versus anyone developing and saying ‘would you need extra water?’ We wish to be within the place the place your glass is all the time full. Maybe you may’t fairly determine why the service is nice. You simply know that on the finish of your meal, the expertise has been fantastic.”

Meals and beverage is one thing Nordstrom executives know lots about, although the retailer’s fame is in trend, footwear and repair.

“Meals and beverage has been a part of our provide for 40 years,” Jamie stated. “It’s in each Nordstrom division retailer and over the past 10 years, extra bars have been introduced in. Cocktail lounges have been an actual win. Meals and beverage is likely one of the most pure types of service. We’re actually pleased with our eating places.”

In response to Jamie, Nordstrom’s most profitable shops are these with essentially the most profitable meals and beverage operations.

“Completely, the eating places are locations in themselves,” he stated. “They must be. The restaurant must be an awesome restaurant. If we offer that, the shopper will come in additional usually and doubtless keep within the retailer longer.”

Wolf, the restaurant within the Manhattan flagship, is a collaboration with chef Ethan Stowell and has a delicacies of Italian-inspired fare with a Pacific Northwest twist. “It’s an awesome instance of us making an attempt one thing new,” Jamie stated. “We’ve bought plenty of shops with a number of eating places, and 7 or eight totally different restaurant ideas throughout the fleet.”

In a broad sense, service can also be about exposing clients to merchandise apart from these they might have come to the shop or the web site for, and serving to them find objects they might have hassle discovering. Within the final 18 months or so, Nordstrom, as Jamie stated, has been “unleashing the gross sales crew by new instruments and social media to interact with clients to create pleasure about new kinds and discover one thing cool they didn’t know they needed to have. We’re always taking a look at leveraging our gross sales crew, our provide chain and our distributors to present clients extra decisions.”

In Q1, there was progress in increasing personalization by offering instruments to extra salespeople and stylists to supply clients extremely related suggestions, each in-store and digitally, and to speak with them. On the stylist chat, clients can ask a method query or get personalised outfit suggestions. Greater than 50 p.c of Nordstrom’s salespeople are actually using these distant styling instruments, a 10-point enhance in comparison with the quarter earlier than.

Nordstrom’s clienteling instruments present associates with saved info to maintain observe of what clients are asking for and shopping for. In addition they have “type boards” so associates can prepare outfits that may be seen digitally on a cellular phone. “They’re efficient instruments for making an attempt to copy the in-store expertise. Consider it as a digital equal of a dressing room,” stated Jamie. “It’s a collaborative expertise.”

In 2020, all salespeople had been enabled to pick out seems to be and promote on social media platforms. Prospects may also schedule an in-store styling or alterations appointment or a digital styling appointment on nordstrom.com.

Over the previous 12 months, Nordstrom has been livestreaming. “We’re studying lots about that,” stated Jamie. “We’re within the very early phases of what that may imply for our enterprise. Our greatest salespeople and influencers are doing livestreaming. We leverage influencers to drive engagement by social media. We’ll put our salespeople in opposition to anybody else’s. After we give our of us the correct instruments and get out of their means and allow them to discover methods to make use of their instruments, they may discover methods to interact.

“For so long as I’ve been round, there’s been this deal with having good folks and the correct quantity of them,” stated Jamie, when requested what he believes makes his household’s firm distinctive.

“It begins with an obtainable and succesful salesperson, particularly today. All of us have skilled being in a retailer that’s understaffed. We take into consideration what nice service seems to be like. It’s private consideration, having that salesperson who has the time to hearken to what you’re asking for, and following by on it. Individualized one-to-one service makes an enormous distinction.”

By way of many surveys carried out by the corporate, “We now have heard time and again that customers need a salesperson who is aware of them, who can anticipate their wants, who could make purchasing simpler for them. You’ve bought to have sufficient folks to do this. We now have 120 years expertise realizing how a lot staffing we’d like. It ebbs and flows. It’s an artwork and a science,” largely revolving across the tendencies in gross sales quantity and site visitors and future expectations on enterprise.

Requested whether or not Nordstrom spends greater than its opponents on manning its shops, Jamie stated, “I don’t know what others spend however to get the correct high quality expertise, you’ve bought to be sure you have efficient compensation. We’ve had primarily a commissions-based group for a very long time. The worth of that’s our folks consider it as their very own enterprise, that it’s their identify on the door.”

He stated administration encourages gross sales associates to “discover options, maintain the shopper. In the event you do this, you may be very profitable having a very good profession right here. It’s much less about paying increasingly more about enabling folks to allow them to earn more money.”

With the nation’s labor scarcity, “It’s a problem on the market, and it’s no totally different for us. However we’ve bought a fairly good story to inform as an employer. We get our justifiable share of candidates. It’s been difficult at instances given the final 12 months however we’re fairly pleased with the expertise we’re getting. We’ve bought be certain our requirements are excessive in our folks serving our clients.”

https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/jamie-nordstrom-service-nordstrom-1234903079/ | Jamie Nordstrom on Service, Synergies and the ‘Single View’ – WWD

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