A Case Study: "Nordstroms" a Upscale Department Store

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Mr. Jeffery L. Jones
Marketing 100
Strayer University – Chamblee Campus
Professor D. Holness
February 24, 2011

1. Identify the type of retailer that Nordstrom’s is classified as. Describe the characteristics it shares with other retailers of this type. Nordstrom would be classified specifically as an upscale large independent department store. This characteristic is shared with other large department retailers like Macy’s, Sears, Dillard’s and is noted as one of the largest U.S. department store’s of its type. Nordstrom offers apparel, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances and accessories for women, men and kids. Nordstrom is dealing with competition on many different levels. It is competing with higher end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Barney’s. It is also competing with second tier stores such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Because of the diverse competition, Nordstrom constantly stays one step ahead with its unprecedented customer service (DeWitte, 2006). Saks Fifth Avenue can be categorized as a mini version of Nordstrom. It has similar products, but targets a smaller market and carries less variety. To make it store experience unique, Saks “focuses on other products such as bridal”. In comparison to Nordstrom, Saks is slightly more expensive and is well known for its “much higher brand names”. There is also a difference in the store layout at Saks. Unlike Nordstrom, which it is categorized by department and where popular trendy goods are on the main floor, Saks “bottom floor consists of shoes, make up and teen clothing, and the upper floors are bridal and much higher priced brands and products”. However, the major difference between the two companies is not in the layout of the store, the products offered, or the price of the goods. The major difference is the focus of the company. The mission statement of Saks is completely different, and money is what seems to be the number one marketing objective of Saks. On the other hand Nordstrom focuses on the treatment of the customer (DeWitte, 2006).

Bloomingdales might just be one of the most famous stores in the world. Bloomingdales is known for its “Big Brown Bag” which is something that all avid shoppers like to be seen carrying around. The mission of Bloomingdales is “to seek and create”, which is a statement that is well carried out by the company. If they do not find what they are looking for they create it. The extreme focus on product development and diversity has made the company famous for having a tremendous product mix. However, some stores rather cluttered and Bloomingdale’s pricing ranges form being competitive with Foley’s to stores far more expensive than Nordstrom. On the other hand, Nordstrom has a focused store with individual departments and consistent prices. Its does not have as much variety in its stores, but it can special order and create any product that a customer desires. This creates more satisfaction for the customer because they can easily find what they are looking for (DeWitte, 2006). Bloomingdales website also reflects its store atmosphere. It is a full line of goods which overwhelms the customer. The website lacks structure and is confusing to sort through. Nordstrom website also reflects it’s in store characteristics. The site is user friendly and easy to navigate through (DeWitte, 2006)

Macy’s seems to have a similar strategy as Bloomingdales. The company is all about selling their name, not their service, unlike Nordstrom. Macy’s also focuses on having a tremendous product width as well as depth. This focus like Bloomie’s has also led the store to look cluttered. Some customers even suggest that “Macy’s looks more like discount store every year rather than a department store”. This is again where Nordstrom gains a competitive advantage. It offers a smaller product mix in stores to help keep the customer from...
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