Summary of The Nordstrom Way

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The Nordstrom Way book summary
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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


The name Nordstrom is synonymous with excellent customer-service. This book highlights what the Nordstrom department store chain does differently from its competitors to ensure that customers consistently receive superior service. This inside look is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the retail industry. Front line employees will be able to use some of the Nordstrom techniques, no matter where they work. In fact, people in almost every industry can use the customer-service practices described by the authors. Anecdotal evidence of the success of these practices makes this book easy to read and very enjoyable. Readers will learn the Nordstrom story from its humble beginnings at the turn of the 20th century, as the Wallin & Nordstrom shoe store, to its current status as a retail powerhouse. recommends this book not only to anyone in the retail sector, but to anyone in customer-service. This is what good service looks like, and this is how to make money with it.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the name Nordstrom stands for customer service;
  • Why Nordstrom employees operate as entrepreneurial shopkeepers;
  • Why all prospective employees start their career on the sales floor; and
  • Why Nordstrom never hires managers externally.

About the Authors

Robert Spector is a Seattle-based freelance writer. He has covered Nordstrom since 1982 for Women’s Wear Daily and other Fairchild Fashion Group publications. Patrick D. McCarthy has been a Nordstrom employee for more than 20 years. He is one of the company’s top salespeople.



The #1 Service Company in America
During their first day of employment at Nordstrom’s, employees are given a five-inch by eight-inch card - the Nordstrom Employee Handbook. The "handbook" welcomes employees, encourages them to set high personal and professional goals, and outlines...

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