What's the company culture at Nordstrom?

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Host

Every business has its own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Nordstrom?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Nordstrom?

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atoz in Dallas, Texas

46 months ago

Caroline Liza in Pt St Lucie, Florida said: After reading your comments on the culture at Nordstrom's, why is it considered such a good company to work for. I work for Dillard's and it seems like the same thing I would like to get away from. I know Nordstrom's has a good reputation, but why is that so. How does management treat staff? Are the customer's extremely demanding?

Management has an iron Fist - that's how they treat their staff. They say Family environment but it is not. Definitely its not family friendly.

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atoz in Dallas, Texas

46 months ago

Also, they trick and get you to sign on documents without giving you an opportunity to read them - instead ,they read and they only read what they want you to hear! Tricky management that doesn't take care of employees.

The back office etc are cramped and you can easily get hurt going there to get stuff to sell!

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Caroline Liza in Pt St Lucie, Florida

46 months ago

Does anyone think Nordstrom's discriminates against older workers? I went to apply for position in their clearance center and I was very well qualified with many years of experience from Macy's,etc. and they passed me over I am pretty sure because I am an obviously older worker. I went to their store to check it out, and sure enough everyone working there was young. They told me their reason for not choosing me was because they chose a more qualified applicant. Really? more qualified than 15 years retail experience. Anybody feel the same way?

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KittyCat in Temecula, California

45 months ago

Yes to Caroline Liza: I feel the same way you do: I did some research on the subject and found this on the Internet: HUMAN RESOURCES

Nordstrom's has approximately 41,000 yearlong full or part-time employees this also includes seasonal hiring. Nordstrom's believes in hiring young people that have not learned behavior that does not go along with their customer service values. Even their mid and top-level managers are young.

They do age discriminate but it is very hard to prove.

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Caroline Liza in Pt St Lucie, Florida

45 months ago

It may be hard to prove, but I am going to at least try to make waves. It is a shame because I bet lot of their customers are not real young and could better relate to a more experienced associate who probably also have better customer service and selling skills. Their loss. Now knowing that is their way, I would not even want to work for them.

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Nordstrom Not For Me in Fort Washington, Maryland

45 months ago

I am very fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to work at Nordstrom, which is one of the most successful specialty retailers in the business. I've gained valuable work experience and I work very hard to exceed my sales goals. However, working at Nordstrom can be very stressful, especially if you're working on a commission. During training, the hiring staff will boast about all the money you can earn in sales. But at the end of the pay period, you'll find that you really don't earn that much because you'll be sharing your sales with other sales associates who are also heavily competiting for every cent they earn. Ultimately, it can become exhausting for everyone to compete with so many people to earn a living. Then, despite the competition, you'll constantly feel pressure to meet your sales goals (sales percentages are watched very closely at this company). If you don't consistently meet your sales goals, then your job might be on the line. THEN, to make your work experience more nerve wracking, the store manager and other executives enjoy making their "rounds", which are sly pop-up visits to your department to make sure that your helping customers. To them, "helping customers" means to be seen greeting and talking to customers, even if customers deny your help. You cannot even enjoy working at this company, because you are constantly on edge, worrying about that status of your job and whether or not you're meeting your sales goals and never knowing just who might "pop up" out of nowhere to make sure that you're doing your job. With all this on their mind, who can truly enjoy providing customer service? At first, I was looking forward to having a long-term career at Nordstrom. Now, I'm presently making plans to leave for the sake of my own sanity and happiness.

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Nordstrom Not For Me in Fort Washington, Maryland

45 months ago

atoz in Dallas, Texas said: Management has an iron Fist - that's how they treat their staff. They say Family environment but it is not. Definitely its not family friendly.

From my experiences, your comment seems to be true. The managers are absolutely psychotic about providing customer service at the Nordstrom in which I work. The managers don't seem to realize that harrassing and second guessing sales associates also impacts customer service, because the more that sales associates are senselessly pressured to help customers, the less motivated they will be (in the long run) to help customers. When I first started working at Nordstrom, I was really motivated and excited about helping customers. I was already SELF motivated to help customers, because economically, it's to my advantage to help customers. Afterall, the more customers I help, the more opportunities I have to earn money. And so, no one wants to help customers more than I do! Therefore, I don't need someone using passive-aggressive tactics in order to force me to help customers as though I were a little kid. Now, I see customers, and all I can remember is how certain executives who don't even work in our department have insensitively approached me to ask me if I had helped or greeted a customer. Nordstrom needs to completely change their work environment in terms of how sales associates are treated and the pressure that is placed on everyone, at every level, to perform. It is very oppressive and unnecessary. That's why I'm leaving. Too much work pretentiousness makes an unpleasant work environment for everyone.

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Nordstrom Not For Me in Fort Washington, Maryland

45 months ago

Caroline Liza in Pt St Lucie, Florida said: After reading your comments on the culture at Nordstrom's, why is it considered such a good company to work for. I work for Dillard's and it seems like the same thing I would like to get away from. I know Nordstrom's has a good reputation, but why is that so. How does management treat staff? Are the customer's extremely demanding?

Most consider Nordstrom to be a great place to work for the same reasons people enjoy shoping at Nordstrom: 1) You can buy designer clothing at affordable prices, and 2) You're working for a company that is prestigious but is considered to be more approachable than other specialty retailers. Also, I believe Nordstrom pays its sales associates more than most clothing retailers pays their sales associates. I've already talked at length about how management treats sales associates at the Nordstrom in which I work. From my experience, I've definitely observed an attitude of supremacy in terms of how managers relate to sales associates. It's absurd to watch how some of them think they are entitled to approach and talk to sales associates any kind of way because of their positions, but I really think that they're behavior is influenced by all the pressure that is placed on everyone to make sure that customers are receiving superior customer service at all times. From my experience, the customers are not extremely demanding. Most are rather easy to please, and enjoy the attention they receive from Nordstrom sales associates. I've also found that customers don't necessarily need overbearing attention to be satisfied with the customer service.

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Hdwilliams02@gmail.com in Charlotte, North Carolina

27 months ago

Host said: Every business has its own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Nordstrom?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Nordstrom?

All of these comments are so negative, compared to most retailers, Nordstrom is wonderful company to work for. You get great pay, have awesome benefits and the opportunity to grow within the company. No matter where you go there is always going to be someone that rubs you the wrong way, that's life. Selling is definitely a plus here, but of your not good at that, there are a bunch of support positions that pay equally as well if not better. It's too bad that all these people had one bad experience and make it sound like Nordstrom is a bad company. I've worked a dozen of other retail jobs before coming to Nordstrom and I couldnt imagine ever working at any of them again. Overall, great company to work for!

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jane had in Glastonbury, Connecticut

27 months ago

I had an interesting experience with Nordstrom. I filled out the online application and was immediately contacted for a phone interview. I was asked to come in for an interview that day. There were several openings available and I really had no preference. For me, I was looking to get my feet wet as I have been out of the workforce for over ten years. Needless to say, I am so overqualified for a sales associate job. I have an MBA in finance and have worked for several prestigious companies. Apparently, this was all lost on the very green human resource person. She asked me the exact same questions that she asked me on the phone interview. I felt like she was only looking for certain answers. The questions revolved around comparing my performance with other employees, going above and beyond in a work situation, and how did I handle a difficult work situation. I felt the questions were irrelevant to someone who has not worked in a while. She was really awful. Her comments were "Great!" after everything I said. I admit my interviewing skills were a little rusty but my corporate experience is so beyond this job. She left me feeling very underwhelmed and unimpressed. Who gets these jobs? Has anyone had a similar experience?

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Potential Applicant in Castle Rock, Washington

26 months ago

Everyone comes away from Nordstrom with a different take on the company. Let me say that it is just like any other retailer with the exception that the pay rate might be a little more than other competitors. Basically if you work for them, treat it like your own business and really hustle and be aggressive if you want to be successful if you want make money and make your hourly goals. You have to work hard, even ten times more than most, just to make sure you have a steady or great paycheck.

Location is really important. If you work in a smaller store without much foot traffic, you going to have to work twenty times harder to ensure you have repeat business and to meet your sales expectations. Higher volume stores provide you a better opportunity but then again you're more staffed and you have to compete with more employees in your department for customers.

The Good: Great paycheck if you're a good seller since the company works on a commission based pay. Upward mobility does happen quite frequently with the company and hard work can promote you in the end.

The Bad: Returns can affect your paycheck and your sales goals. Since Nordstrom is high on the customer service reputation, their return policy is very liberal so 99.99% of the time merchandise can be brought back and credited toward the selling employee. Depending on the store location, regular customers in attendance which will direct affect sales. With this current recession, massive layoffs or temination is bound to happen if sales expectations are not met. The company wants to see profitability and results so there are no excuses to why sales are slow during this time. Finally, the company is very customer service oriented so even if the customer is in the wrong, the store will usually side with the customer. Don't take it personally and simply accept the complaint.

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Ash in Whittier, California

26 months ago

Just like life, you'll always come across bad seeds. I've worked at 4 different nordstroms and each one is different. I wanted to move up in the company and did everything in my power for two years. Nothing. I transferred stores because I moved in with my bf and they promoted me after 5 months. Certain managers will focus on the number aspect of the business because it's concrete; or safe.

But if you think about it our goal is to build meaningful relationships so that the customer will shop with you and you only. This obviously takes time and does not happen overnight. The service aspect of the company is so important especially with the Internet rising. Nordstrom.com sales are soaring. The goal is to set yourself apart from anything else. There is a salesperson on my floor who gave such good service to a customer that the customer now lives in Canada but will get her makeup, skin care and everything else from this sales employee even though the customer is paying more for the shipping. It's about providing the type of service that you cannot replicate anywhere else.

Nordstrom only promotes from within which is awesome; especially in this bad economy. But by all means, you will always find a bad seed and that shouldnt stop you from growing w the company

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golfatdawn@comcast.net in Castle Rock, Colorado

23 months ago

I had the most awful experience dealing with this company. I had received a call telling me that I had everything they were looking for-style of clothing,my hair,personality and intelligence plusmy 30 years of working with public. The HR people emailed me as to when I could talk with them on phone. I thought this would take just several minutesof my time WRONG..The call only lasted less than 2 min. THe questions were -Why do I want to work for Dillards. and the other one was How do you feel about working for commission. THAT was all the telephone interview consisted of.. After a week of not hearing back from the HR dept I decided to go over to the HR dept to let them know I was still interested. I looked on the directory as to where the HR dept was located_in most stores it is on the 3rd floor. while I was looking a sales lady asked me if I needed help,. I told her what I was looking for and noticed she had a strange look on her face. Maybe because no one ever is told where HR is until you are employee. She went to call upstairs and after awhile she came over to me and told me to wait on the green chairs by the escalator. I thought this rather odd. About 5 minutes later a woman came down the escalator and walked towards me. I outstretched my hand to give her a handshake but she did not stop walking while she talked to me.As she walked by she told me that I would be contacted tomorrow. I watched her walk on by. I did not get a call on the next but the day after that I received an email telling me that they are looking for a different type of applicant.
my background is in banking, retail and for the past 22 years-registered nurse. I am definitly qualified for a sales position at Nordstroms and anywhere else.I also have been told that I am very attractive and could sell anything. Maybe so,I don't know. This company is so RUDE and disinterested in their employees. It is a snobby store and you can feel the stress and bad emotions when you enter it. (DONT APPLY THERE

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Content in Aliso Viejo, California

22 months ago

I worked for this company for several years in the Seattle area. I was never in corporate, but instead on the sales floor. Much of what I read here is completely false. Here's what you should take away from Nordstrom:

1.) Nordstrom management does not have an iron fist. Like most companies, every manager reports to another manager and then must roll out new processes, change the performance of the department, adjust to new staffing needs, etc. If you can't work in an environment as straight-forward as this then a start-up or creating your own company is probably your best bet. Otherwise, it's very straight forward.

2.) Customer service IS Nordstrom culture, plain and simple. Managers are not "psychotic" about providing it, and customers are not "psychotic" about receiving it. Of course there are a few on both ends that slip through the cracks, but you rarely deal with these customers or managers. If you aren't customer service oreinted, then this job isn't for you. Every interaction you have with your co-workers and customers should be from this motivation. Hunter from Meritt Island has it correct--if you don't have it in you to greet each customer in a unique way to make them excited about shopping, then this isn't the job for you. I would stay at Macy's.

3.) Age-discrimination doesn't exist at Nordstrom. As a previous manager there, the qualities I looked for in a candidate were simple: goal-oriented, an entreprenurial spirit, and someone who recognized the importance of individual AND team success. Age was never an issue. If you are older and did not receive a job, then it was probably simply because the manager or HR representative who interviewed you did not believe your work ethic aligned with theirs.

Overall, my experience there was amazing, and I was incredibly more productive at my new job thanks to what I learned at Nordstrom. I would be happy to return if things don't work out where I am now.

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Curious in Chicago, Illinois

22 months ago

Do you have to wear jeans sold at Nordstrom's or would Express be okay? What if working in Men'Apparel? I don't have any designer jeans or designer clothing by Nordstroms!

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Outraged by these comments in Lithonia, Georgia

19 months ago

After reading these comments and cringing at the very thought of having to work for Nordstrom again, I realize I may need to start a blog about this company. Nordstrom is continuously making the top companies to work for list on America, for what, I don't know. It was the snobbish, impersonal, rude, cut throat, disgusting playing field I've ever stepped ob. If you think for one minute I'm upset cause I didn't sell, it's not true, in fact i was the top seller in my department. But you see, money isn't everything, not to me at least. My paychecks were decent, bit that did stop the feeling of agonizing hate and shame that came every morning before I went to work. Nordstrom employs slaves, they expect you to work to the bone, sell sell sell, then get all of it returned the following day and still smile about it, and be glad to work for the Grossman. The truth of the matter is, a lot of ppl shopping there can't afford it. They buy things, wear them, bring them back and it cones out of YOUR check. They take everything back under garments, lingerie with perfume still on it, it doesn't matter. I felt ashamed to work there, I hated the atmosphere of ppl smiling in your face at those STUPID rallies EVERY morning, then cutting your throat by evening to make their dept goals. It's a disgusting place, anyone with an ounce of pride need not work there. The store closes at 10, you'll get off at 11, just cause they're going to let that last conceded customer shop to squeeze that lady dime out. This was Xmas eve mind you. They don't give a rat's ads about the employs, they fire ppl for reasons out of their own hands. Numerous if the friends that I actually did make there were evicted, living in cars, it with their parents. Grown people. It's a sin.and a shame. If Nordstrom makes so much money, let a sale be a sale, and don't let those returns come out of their checks. I no longer work for Nordstrom, to this day it was the best decision I ever made to quit.

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Former Southern California Employee in Somewhere, California

14 months ago

I agree with much that has been said here. Nordstrom is a great place to shop (although a lot more expensive these days). I worked at a S.Calif store in the mid to late 80s. I worked in a dept that no longer exists but was a sort of a home store. It was very hard to make commission there due to the low price points, which made for a very small paycheck.

They do promote from within, but I found it to be sort of a "click", like the popular girls in high school. Yes, you did have to meet sales goals, but those were the employees who got promoted first.

After a year of what sometimes felt like a hostile work environment and low pay (about 50 cents above the min wage), I transferred to the clerical dept.

In the clerical dept, I worked with buyers and merchandise mgrs for that region and also with the clothing vendors. I saw first hand how some of the decisions were made and the people who were promoted to dept managers & buying positions ahead of others that had been overlooked. But of course, they weren't part of the click. I will go as far saying that some were not even qualified. (longer stories)

I did enjoy working in the buying dept and I worked there 4 years. I left because I needed to earn more money.

I am grateful for the friendships I did make there, and as someone said... it's good on a resume and it prepared me for a higher paying position with another company. But I would not encourage anyone to work there, unless it was for short term with other goals in mind.

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Rubyj in Los Angeles, California

14 months ago

Hi did anyone have to go through a background check before getting hired? If so how long did it take? Its been 3 days since they called me for that. If i dont get hired will they email me?

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ststudent in alexandria, Virginia

14 months ago

im applying for cosmetic sales at Nordstroms. Hopefully, Chanel. Any hints about how to get thru the interview? Also, what is the base salary? How much can I earn there? How are the uniforms? ANY info would be great!

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kysunshine8268@aol.com in Louisville, Kentucky

8 months ago

Host said: Every business has its own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Nordstrom?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Nordstrom?

Head strong. Customer based on everything. Love every minute of being part of customer service! A cut above! An attitude!
Bring a part of Nordstrom is HUGE!!!! It's a part of life. Nordstrom does not discriminate.

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Maria in Havertown, Pennsylvania

6 months ago

At the Rack, it's a little different than the Nordstrom department store. At the Rack, they treat the associates like pure crap. They work you to death, threaten that if you don't do everything you're supposed to, they'll keep you here all night if they have to. They give you so much in one shift to do that no one could really do. If you don't, you hear it and they write you up. So you run around feeling like you're so awful because you couldn't do it all. I don't think I was ever treated so badly at a job. It's always dirty and me and my coworkers constantly were catching colds, getting ringworm, and other gross things! Awful.

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