Nordstrom - Gained valuable customer service, management and training tools. | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Nordstrom
There are newer employer reviews for Nordstrom

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Helpful (2)

"Gained valuable customer service, management and training tools."

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Department Manager
Former Employee - Department Manager
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

I worked at Nordstrom full-time (More than 5 years)

Pros

Your customers! Amazing clientele, you get to know every aspect of their life! Great opportunity to move up considering they promote from within. Started as a sales associate and moved my way up to department manager.

Cons

Barely a work/life balance. Sales goals were hard to reach for my department and was got a lot of pressure from upper management. It is commission based for your employees so if sales were low, this created turnover. My position was cut due to something they called "going into neighborhoods." Eventually the whole neighborhood idea ended up being a bad idea.

Advice to Management

Don't just "call someone to the office" when you are planning on yelling at them. Tell your managers when they are doing a great job and when they need to work on things. Don't overwork your managers. Sometimes they are working 12 hour days to hit half yearly sales goals that are through the roof. Take a look at the economy for once.

Other Employee Reviews for Nordstrom

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Fun, but only pays well for the first few months. Then you get killed by returns."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Salesperson in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Salesperson in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Nordstrom full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great discount, fun environment, builds your confidence and self-esteem A LOT once you get past the first couple overwhelming months, you build really useful communication and memory skills, and your physical appearance will overall improve.

    That last part sounds shallow, but it's very true, and working in fashion (along with all the crazy running around we do) is great motivation to lose some weight. Most girls go down a size after working here for a few months. I went from being overweight (nothing terrible, but definitely a pudgy size 10, and enough to make me self-conscious about my weight) to wearing a size 2, loving my new body, and feeling so much confident in all aspects of life. Not that Nordstrom has an anorexic or skinny-obsessed culture (quite the opposite, actually), but fashion is intrinsically body-focused, and spending 9 hours a day discussing and finding clothes for every possible body type definitely gives you more awareness of your own body and how to make yourself look great.

    Plus, you cannot underestimate the way this job exercises your skills at making small talk and remembering tiny details about hundreds of different people. You also become really good at manipulating people and controlling/faking your emotions. Sounds bad, but they are actually super useful skills. You also build your observation skills a lot...mostly out of a necessity to discriminate against those people who will waste your time, but also just by becoming more intuitive about what a particular customer does and doesn't like.

    And obviously, the discount is awesome. As long as you set yourself some limits, you can get some awesome clothes. You're able to buy stuff the second it goes on sale or snag the last one left in the company, and you get free clothes for winning contests or when there is a new product launch in your department. I got some free designer jeans earlier this week!

    Bottom line: The positive aspects of working here are pretty shallow, but it's really an awesome job for the short term or just to have fun. And of course, this is the perfect environment for developing top-notch people skills. As long as you're open willing to learn, 6 months at Nordstrom can teach you a lot and will definitely improve your self-confidence.

    Cons

    The obvious stuff. Commission seems so wonderful at first....

    The biggest complaint I have is the returns. It is a great lure to get customers to buy, and it is perfectly acceptable that they should come out of your paycheck. (Although I think that an entire year is too long of a time.) But there are a ridiculous amount of people that abuse our liberal return policy by returning used items. And those used items are usually really expensive. It's especially frustrating when someone returns something expensive (well, anything really) that would have been a year old if they had just waited another couple weeks. And of course, we are not allowed to discuss anything commission-related in front of customers. Once you've been working at Nordstrom for about 6 months, you start to get REALLY hit with returns. It becomes a constant battle to sell enough to not only get yourself out of the negatives, but then to get your net sales (sales minus returns) high enough to actually make some money by the end of the pay period. Nordstrom guarantees that you'll get paid at least the federal minimum wage for the time that you work, but considering that most employees are college graduates (Nordstrom's preferred education level), that is clearly not enough money, and certainly not worth the stress and terrible hours of the job.

    Also, this job will make you hate certain types of people. Obviously, the people that don't realize that we work on commission are annoying, but they're not the worst. It's the shoppers who demand and monopolize your attention and don't buy anything (or who buy stuff and then return everything) start to become your biggest enemy. These are mostly people who shop out of boredom because they have nothing better to do with their time. After a while, you learn to spot these people pretty easily. And yet, if you don't cater to their every little need and act super friendly, they get angry and threaten to complain. (Not that our managers care. But new-ish employees don't realize this, so they try super hard to please everyone.)

    My personal experience (in addition to my coworkers') has been that interacting with these bad customers is a HUGE mistake. Everyone does it when they're new because the managers push customer service so much. But honestly, everyone's biggest hurdle is just accepting that, in this job, discrimination is a necessary evil. The salespeople that make the most money are utterly shameless about ignoring and slyly passing certain categories of people (based on things like age, nationality, occupation, etc) off to other employees.

    Most new employees buy in to the whole "good customer service to everyone, no matter what" mentality that the managers (who don't work on commission) always push. And since this approach starts backfiring after about 6 months, you realize you need to stop wasting time with these types of shoppers. If you have issues with saying no to people, however, you just start to get bitter and angry, and you end up hating the job and hating those types of people even outside the workplace.

    So basically, if you stay at this job too long, you either end up bitter and full of hate with paychecks at what a teenager flipping burgers would make, or you become super selfish and really good at pawning off the bad customers (to the detriment of your "doormat" coworkers). If you can be the latter personality and learn to effectively discriminate and avoid certain people, you can easily make a career out of Nordstrom and make tons of money. Plenty of skilled salespeople at Nordstrom have an average salary of over a hundred grand a year. And if you're right in between the two personalities (like me!), you either stay with the company and move up into management, or you move on to something completely and utterly NOT commission based.

    Advice to Management

    Clearly, your business model is working wonders on the corporate end, so good for you for being so excellent at creating an employment culture that attracts intelligent and well-educated employees. And good job on always being sure to hire the perfect amount of the selfish, cunning sort of salesperson, while always having a fresh supply of nice, happy employees to replace all the other nice employees that basically sacrifice their own happiness and financial success so that Nordstrom can continue it's reputation of customer satisfaction. I'm the type who falls right in the middle of that spectrum, so I feel like I can see both sides pretty clearly. I do love all the perks of this job and I will look back fondly on a lot of aspects of Nordstrom employment. If fashion or business were my field, I'd probably stay with the company for the long term. But since I was not interested in moving up, I will say that I really and truly regret staying beyond about 6 or 8 months. I felt like I had to choose between being a "shark" at work and making money just as much as I made enemies, or being a doormat that everyone loved. I just feel like there could be another solution out there. Something based more on a comprehensive spectrum that balances both types of employees and yet helps every customer. But as always, business is business. Thanks for the experience; it was a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and ultimately, I'll be leaving this job for non Nordstrom-related reasons. I'll miss some things (like my discount, of course!), and I appreciate the experience, but I've outgrown this job and I'm glad to be done with it.


  2. "Overall and ok place to work at"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at Nordstrom part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The work environment is extremely aesthetically pleasing to the eye. A lot of high end products and a decent employee discount. Good money if you want to put in the work.

    Cons

    High stress. Can be extremely competitive depending on your coworkers. High strung clientel. Pressure to dress and doll yourself up every single work day. Mangers can be unrelenting.

There are newer employer reviews for Nordstrom
There are newer employer reviews for Nordstrom

See Most Recent

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