April 29, 2013

Nordstrom (& A Little History)

Admittedly, being from Seattle and living here pretty much my whole life has had me shopping at Nordstrom since birth. Not only because it's been the premier store in the Pacific Northwest, but also because any other formerly great (?) department stores (Bon Marche, Frederick & Nelson, anyone?) are loooong gone.

My ever-chic mom was a women's buyer at Nordstrom in the 60's and 70'sand I followed in her footsteps as soon as I could (see, it's in my blood...) as a stock runner in Brass Plum (BP for those under 30) at age 15. Let me tell you, that was the most glamorous and thankless job all at the same time. I got to dress up cute and work side by side with fancy ladies (most of whom were maybe 3-4 years older than me). I also got to clean out dressing rooms and run loads of garments back to their respective racks for 5+ hours (Do you have any idea how many clothes teenage girls can try on?? And how messy they are?! Yeah, you likely do.) I went on to work at Nordies in many departments at many stores for many, many years.
I really love this store and love it's rich, local history.
 The 112 year old retailer has been a fixture in Seattle for just as long. It started as a shoe company called Wallin & Nordstrom. Once Wallin retired, the company became known as Nordstrom, but still just sold shoes. 
In the late '60's Nordstrom purchased a clothing store called Best Apparel then rebranded themselves as Nordstrom Best. That name lasted only a few years, and once "Best" was dropped, Nordstrom alone became the name synonymous with customer service and quality in the retail world. 
The customer service was legendary {btw, have you heard the tire story??}.
I worked in just about every women's ready to wear department during high school and college. Back in the 80's, pre-scanners and UPC's, all the garments had perforated tags. When you sold something, you wrote the sales info in code on the back of the tag attached to the garment and ripped another portion off to be saved and tallied by some bean counter later. Every item was hand keyed into the register and I can't even imagine how many mistakes were made, especially during crazy times during the holidays or sale times.
Speaking of sales, have you any idea how many people tended to wait outside Nordstrom stores at 6am to get in first for the Anniversary sale? (pre-Internet of course)
This many!!! 
Tapping on the doors, eagerly waiting to spend a fortune on clothes they couldn't generally wear for 2-3 months (due to season change).
Ok...maybe not, this is really an image from a Nordies store opening, but I promise, lots of people were lined up!!
The big Anniversary sale every year is one not to be missed. Now you can pre-shop in store and online which makes it a no-brainer. It's truly a sale for everyone because every single department puts brand new merchandise out at 30-ish% off. It's huge! Time to stock up, splurge on boots or handbags or leathers or denim...I mean, you can really get yourself in trouble...
(1 / 2)
I remember my mom buying us "school shoes" at Anniversary, which she wouldn't let us wear until the first day of school. I remember lusting over these beautiful Famolare's just waiting the weeks 'til summer was over and my shoes could come out and play!
So...recently I was at Nordstrom and wanted to tell you all about the rebranding of the Saavy department, which is how this walk down memory lane started...so watch for part 2 and my shopping trip tomorrow (or get started shopping by clicking the link below)!

{ This is not a sponsored post, I just really love Nordstrom! It may contain affiliate links. }

I'll just share my BIGGEST pet-peeve on this subject. 
I don't know why it bugs me so very much, but it does. 
Nordstrom does not have an "s" on the end!

NORDSTROM - Shop Savvy Trends.  Cool Looks, Awesome Prices.

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