Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Nordstom works for me

For work-related reasons, I needed a suit. I haven't had to deal with suits in ages. A sports coat is usually enough for most semi-formal occasions, and should an event be truly formal, I own a tux. In this case, though, only a suit would do.

I hate buying clothes for myself. I've always hated it. Worse, these days I'm extremely unhappy with my body, which makes the entire process even more painful. Nothing can make me like buying new clothing.

Nordstrom, though, makes that process more bearable than anywhere I've ever shopped.

My experience with this suit is typical of my shopping trips there. I headed to the men's department and was greeted by a guy who looked like he'd been selling formal men's clothing since the seventies, maybe earlier. Everything about his dress was impeccably conservative, yet small touches, such as a designer watch, showed personal flair. I told him I wanted a suit and the general types of purposes for it. He asked my size, and I gave him my best guess. He frowned for a split second, corrected his expression, and said, "Let me show you something."

He walked to a nearby rack, pulled out a suit, and held it up.

It was perfect, exactly what I had envisioned, and it was the size I had told him.

He helped me try on the coat, and, as he had clearly known, it was not the right size.

He held up a finger, grabbed another coat, and helped me into it.

It was perfect.

I tried on the coat and pants, my salesman asked me the usual questions (break or not in the pants, etc.), and offered his guess as to my choice--which was in every case correct. Their on-site tailor marked all the alterations and left. My salesman said it would be ready in a week unless I needed it sooner, but I did not.

I paid--it happened to be on sale--and left.

I'm sure that if I had all the right expertise, I could have found an equivalent suit at a lower price somewhere else.

I don't care. The low hassle and pleasant efficiency of that salesman (I always enjoy dealing with experts working in their areas of expertise), plus the high quality of the garment, make me happy to have shopped there.

As long as my shopping trips to Nordstrom continue to work out that well, that chain is going to get a lot of my business.


Toni L.P. Kelner said...

If you ever need to put together several outfits, make an appointment with a personal shopper. They'll ask what you need and your sizes, then pull together a bunch of stuff before you arrive, and have it all waiting in the dressing room. You try it on, tell the shopper what works, and they find different colors/sizes as needed while you hang around in the dressing room. They'll bring you water and scones. When you need alterations, they'll bring in the seamstress for measurements. I've even had them say, "Now this is the kind of shirt you'll want, but don't buy it here. You can get one just as good at the Gap or Old Navy."

The price for this service?


You don't pay one cent extra.

How can you pass that up?

Mark said...

Thanks for the tip, Toni.

Todd said...

Nordstrom Rack is great for oversize shoes - thanks to them I now own more shoes than the first 30 years of my life combined.


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