Basically, retail trade entails the merchandise or sale of goods to the final consumer. The retailer may either be involved in buying goods directly from the manufacturer or through the wholesaler depending on the size of the enterprise. In this case, there exists various categories of retailers which include; supermarkets, discount stores, departmental stores, and general merchandise stores among others. Precisely, the Nordstrom is categorized as a departmental store due to its nature of operations. Initially, it started as a shoe retailer and expanded its operation to offer a number of products including clothing, jewelry, handbags, cosmetics, and home furnishing among others(Warren, 1999).
Being a departmental store, the Nordstrom operates a number of chain stores in different locations. In the year, 1958, Nordstrom had eight stores in two states which strictly specialized in the sale of shoes. Its expansion was mainly contributed to customer loyalty due to the quality and efficient services offered by the company. At present, Nordstrom celebrates to be operating numerous chain stores in national level which has rapidly increased its revenues and scope of operation. The increase in operations and expansion has led to continued diversification of its operations; whereby restaurants have been added and variety of products increased. Nevertheless, Nordstrom shares a lot of similarities with other departmental stores which include the following(Pasquarelli, 2010).
To begin with, the products sold by the Nordstrom are similar to those sold by other departmental stores.
In specific, departmental stores deals with durable goods like; cosmetics, hardware, jewelry, sporting goods, shoes and clothing among others. This aspect draws a closer similarity between the Nordstrom and other departmental store since it deals with durable goods as illustrated by other departmental stores. Another characteristic is on the mode of operation; whereby the Nordstrom has a chain of stores in various parts of USA and Canada, which is similar to other departmental stores. Some of the stores owned by Nordstrom are in San Juan, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Louisville among other regions (Warren, 1999).
Over the years, Nordstrom has undergone numerous changes in its mode of business. The drastic expansion of the scope of operation has changed the business entity from a small family affair to public limited company drawing shares from the public. With this change in structure, more revenue was mobilized and led to opening of more stores thus stabilizing its revenues. The management of the single stores has been significantly changed due to the increase in their numbers. At present, decentralized mode of management is administered to the single store so as to enhance efficiency. At present, the head quarters of the company is at Downtown Seattle in Washington and it’s responsible for coordinating the operations of the different stores (Pasquarelli, 2010).
To increase levels of operations and customers, the Nordstrom has changed its services from full service to self-service. This is based on the aspect of the sizes of the single stores and the numbers of customers flowing in and out at each single moment. This situation has led to the increase in sales due to the efficiency of self service. On the other hand, self-service has been adopted so as to enhance customers’ satisfaction and freedom. Additionally, Nordstrom has decided to adapt to self service so as to cut the operational costs since fewer attendants are recruited thus leading to higher profits (Pasquarelli, 2010).
The Neiman Marcus is a potential competitor to the Nordstrom Company due the similarity in products they deal with and the marketing strategies. In this case, the Neiman Marcus is also a departmental store having a chain of stores in various parts of US. It specializes with home accessories, jewelry, clothing, furniture and other products similarly sold by Nordstrom. Nevertheless, there are quite many differences exhibited by these two departmental stores. Firstly, Neiman Marcus is widely involved in online marketing as contrasted to Nordstrom. Secondly, the nature of goods dealt with by the Neiman Marcus is largely hardware and luxurious jewelry as contrasted by the Nordstrom which largely specializes in shoes and clothing. In case of social responsibilities, Neiman Marcus is involved in extravagant and luxurious offers to the society which has greatly impacted on its financial stability (Warren, 1999).
The success of the Nordstrom Company in the retail market has been attributed to a number of factors. To begin with, the various strategies of attracting and maintaining customers have been prioritized by the Nordstrom’s management. Firstly, is the advertising strategy; in this case intensive advertisement have been done on the Nordstrom’s [products. These advertisements are constantly running in the media houses and through the internet. Inches aspect, consumers are fed with full information on the type of products offered by Nordstrom as well as their prices.
This has been a very key strategy in attracting the customers to purchase Nordstrom’s products. Secondly, the aspect of sales promotion has also been prioritized by the Nordstrom as a criterion for customer attraction. In this phenomenon, various offers have been granted to the customers and the public in general so as to induce them to purchase Nordstrom’s products (Pasquarelli, 2010).
The pricing strategy has also been fully affected by the Nordstrom in its endeavors of wining and maintaining customers. In this case, fair and affordable prices have been set on the products with little of no fluctuations thus ensuring consumer’s convenience. The prices are relatively lower compared to those of other retailers thus giving it a competitive advantage. The issue of quality has been greatly addressed; whereby the Nordstrom ensures the products it is dealing with are of the best quality. Issues of defect goods are a thing of the past. On another aspect, Nordstrom has been in the forefront in ensuring consumer satisfaction through public relations. This department has been very efficient in ensuring customer complains or opinions are addressed. The public relations have also been competent in ensuring the image of the company is maintained and any problems arising within the company are settled in time (Pasquarelli, 2010).
I got a few things from Nordstrom’s anniversary sale and wanted to share. =) FTC Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me.
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