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Nordstrom

unimaginative2

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I really think Sears was overly hasty in ditching the Eaton's brand. Even if their merchandising was exactly the same at the big city stores, I think they'd be more successful if they had the Eaton's brand. It's just difficult to persuade urbanites to buy fashions at Sears.

I'm sure that Nordstrom's will be successful in Toronto. Sherway makes a lot of sense as a location. The Sears at the Eaton Centre is mammoth, so it makes sense that it could be split. I'm not sure how they would organize it. Maybe the bottom floor could be a Nordstrom's? The one issue with that is that they are rather high end and most of the Eaton Centre's higher end stores are on the top level.

As for the Rideau Centre, I think Nordstrom's will do very well. Ottawa is the highest income metro in Canada so it can definitely support more high end retail. The Rideau Centre is also going to have some issues as that end of the mall will be much less busy when the Transitway is replaced by the new LRT with the station up on Rideau Street. The Bay is really going to need to improve its operation; their Freiman store is a bit of a mess.
 

pw20

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Based on my watching the video of the future sherway gardens - as well as studying the floor plan on the website - it looks like Holts is going from one to two floors, Life Sports (I mean sporting life) is moving to the new wing across from the new food court and nordstrom will take the old Life Sports spot. The Holt Renfrew now is TINY 33k, so it looks like it will at least double in size, putting it on par with the Yorkdale store's new size.
 

DavidJamesTO

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I really think Sears was overly hasty in ditching the Eaton's brand. Even if their merchandising was exactly the same at the big city stores, I think they'd be more successful if they had the Eaton's brand. It's just difficult to persuade urbanites to buy fashions at Sears.

They should have just rebranded Sears Canada as Eatons and been done with it. The chains were more or less identical anyway.
 

Skeezix

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As Nordstrom's arrival looms, rival stores sharpen up

MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER

The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Aug. 05 2012, 5:56 PM EDT

Last updated Monday, Aug. 06 2012, 8:18 AM EDT


Erik Nordstrom likes to boast about his employees going the extra mile at the upscale U.S. retailer that bears his name.

Recently, the great-grandson of the founder of Nordstrom Inc. told the story of a maintenance staff worker who discovered a Nordstrom shopping bag filled with $800 worth of goods in the parking lot of a Farmington, Conn., store.

Flight information in the package helped the employee identify the customer, whom he dialled three times.

She failed to pick up because, she said later, she didn’t recognize the number on her mobile’s call display. Realizing her flight was leaving soon, he drove 200 kilometres – two hours – to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and after having her paged at the airport, triumphantly handed her the bag.

She offered him money for gas, but he refused.

“We don’t nail it all the time, by any means, but we’re fortunate to have some really terrific people in this company who care a lot … about their customers,†Mr. Nordstrom, the company’s president of stores, told the retailer’s annual meeting in May.

Ranked as a top U.S. luxury retailer for luring back shoppers with courteous and knowledgeable staff, Nordstrom may have reason to brag. And as it prepares to bring its stores to Canada, it may also give Canadian retailers a reason to rethink how they do things.

Nordstrom’s arrival threatens to shake up a retail market known for a more passive approach to helping shoppers. It plans to open four stores here in the next several years – in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto, according to industry sources – and could raise Canadian shoppers’ expectations and force rivals to pump up their customer service or risk suffering losses.

“Retailing in these cities and across Canada will change after Nordstrom comes to town,†predicted Robert Spector, a retail consultant in Seattle, where the retailer is based, and author of The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence. “Trust me on this, I’ve seen it happen everywhere in the country†where Nordstrom has launched new U.S. stores.

Domestic retailers will have to pay heed to Nordstrom. Its department-store competitors, including the Bay, Holt Renfrew, Sears and Quebec-based Simons, failed to rank among the top 20 retailers in a customer-experience survey that looked at such things as staff courtesy and competency. It was conducted late last year in Ontario and Quebec by Leger Marketing.

The Bay scored 97th out of 104 chains in Ontario and 102nd out of 113 in Quebec; Sears was 72nd in Ontario and 78th in Quebec. Holt fared better, at 24th in Ontario and 25th in Quebec. Simons, which runs stores only in Quebec (although it is soon expanding beyond that province) came in 46th.

In contrast, Nordstrom emerged as the top purveyor of a quality experience for customers among eight leading U.S. luxury retailers, according to a recent study by Luxury Institute, a New York consultancy.

In Canada, retailers will feel the heat to find the right balance between welcoming customers but not scaring them away with a high-pressure pitch, industry experts said. Customers here may be caught off guard by getting too much attention. And in the digital age, shoppers – especially younger ones – may prefer to turn to their smartphones for information rather than a store clerk.

Even so, domestic retailers are taking steps to improve their customer service, including running more surveys; hiring “mystery shoppers†to monitor the performance of staff; providing customized services to top customers; and trying to reshape hiring policies and employee training.

The Bay now searches for “fashionistas†– even ones with tattoos – to hire as sales people, while Sears relaxed its return policy and boosted staff training this spring. Holt Renfrew is training its commissioned sales staff to be adept at selling goods in more than one department.

“We’re encouraging our sales people to move through the store to meet more people,†said Alix Box, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at Holt. “That creates a more welcoming environment … Obviously there is always room for improvement.â€

Bonnie Brooks, president of the Bay, arrived at the chain in the fall of 2008 when it was “perceived as having no staff visible on the selling floor†even though 12 to 13 per cent of sales were spent on store payroll, she said recently. She moved many backroom employees into the store and urged them to act more like specialty-store staff who greet shoppers and find out what they want. “We had to change our approach.â€

For all the emphasis on customer service at Nordstrom, it has an employee handbook that consists of just a single sheet of paper, said spokeswoman Brooke White. It welcomes staff to Nordstrom and, on the other side, says, “Use your best judgment.â€

Nordstrom’s approach is to provide a no-restrictions returns policy and train staff to act as entrepreneurs, keeping in touch with customers and suggesting future purchases, said spokeswoman Brooke White. Employees are taught to use a computerized “personal book†for keeping customer records on favourite brands and styles, anniversaries and birthdays. Their pay consists of commissions ranging from 6.75 per cent to 13 per cent of their sales or a base salary, whichever is higher, Ms. White said.

“A Nordstrom executive once said to me, ‘It’s not that we’re so good; it’s that everyone else is so bad,’ †Mr. Spector said.

Retailers such as Holt and premium mens clothier Harry Rosen (which was not ranked in the Leger survey) have adopted their own versions of the Nordstrom playbook, including staff record-keeping to keep tabs on their best customers.

And they’re trying to focus more on pampering their customers. This spring, for example, Holt flew one of its top customers in Vancouver along with her Holt “personal shopper†to Los Angeles to view a new line of jewellery, resulting in the customer making a “noteworthy†purchase, Ms. Box said. “We’re doing more of that – it’s more customized to [each] customer.â€

To monitor customer response, Holt recently launched a more beefed up, standardized customer-service survey, now tracking 4,000 customers a month rather than the previous 800 monthly, she said. And it has introduced other touches, such as serving lemonade at the downtown Toronto flagship store during this hot summer.

Still, Karl Moore, a professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, thinks Holt can do better. Over the years, he has sent hundreds of his students to check out service at Holt, only to find that the 20-somethings often aresimply ignored by staff.

Holt is missing an opportunity, he said. “They clearly suss out that the students are not the target market. But most of them will have the money to eventually shop there.â€
 

CPancer

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Domestic retailers will have to pay heed to Nordstrom. Its department-store competitors, including the Bay, Holt Renfrew, Sears and Quebec-based Simons, failed to rank among the top 20 retailers in a customer-experience survey that looked at such things as staff courtesy and competency. It was conducted late last year in Ontario and Quebec by Leger Marketing.

I love this because it's so true, shame on the customer service that work in these places! I mean, not that I don't mind not being interrogated by some employee who is clearly desperate for commision but any department store i've been to in the States has been far more approaching than these poor excuses of retail associates.

This is probably not very patriotic of me but I look forward to Nordstrom and future high-end department stores to wipe out Holt Renfrew and The Bay.
 

vancouverguy_76

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Looks like Holt Renfrew in Sherway will expand to 102,000 square feet from its current 33,000 square foot store: http://www.retail-insider.com/2012/07/new-holt-renfrew-store-for-sherway.html

"Holt Renfrew will open a new 102,000 square foot (gross square footage) store in the expanded north-end of Toronto's Sherway Gardens shopping centre. This will replace its current smaller location in the same mall. Lease plans show a 29,440 square foot floor, a 60,425 square foot floor and a 12,000 square foot mezzanine level."
 

samsonyuen

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U.S.-based retailer Nordstrom set to announce store plans in Canada http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/98111--u-s-based-retailer-nordstrom-set-to-announce-store-plans-in-canada

By The Canadian Press | September 11, 2012

TORONTO - Nordstrom is the latest U.S. retailer planning to set up shop north of the border.

Officials from the department store chain and Cadillac Fairview are scheduled to announce Canadian store plans at a media briefing in Toronto on Thursday.

The announcement will relate to Nordstrom's entry into the Canadian marketplace and will identify store locations in Cadillac Fairview shopping centres nationally.

According to previously published reports, the Seattle-based retailer is expected to open in four locations, including a trio of prime Sears Canada locations set to be shuttered this fall.

Sears Canada announced in March it would sell back leases for three of its stores to its landlord, Cadillac Fairview, for about $170 million.

High-profile locations at the Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Chinook Centre in Calgary and Rideau Centre in Ottawa are set to close by the end of October.

It announced a further closure, at the Deerfoot Mall in Calgary in July.

Nordstrom Inc. president Blake Nordstrom is set to join Cadillac Fairview president and CEO John Sullivan and Wayne Barwise, executive vice-president of development at Cadillac Fairview, at the media briefing on Thursday.

Canadians can currently purchase goods direct from Nordstrom's website, with shipping fees that includes the cost of duties at checkout.
 

sixrings

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If they are partnering with cadelac fairview does this mean that nordstrom will not be alowed to expand to an eventual Yorkdale store?
 

pw20

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Re. Sherway - the store will be a new build - but in the location where Sporting Life currently is.

Re. Yorkdale. Oxford is a VERY hard bargainer and told Nordstrom that they could open in Yorkdale if they also agreed to open in Square One.

Nordstrom called their bluff.
 

prosperegal

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The Eaton Centre is a Cadillac Fairview property, right? I wonder what led them to choose Sherway Gardens...

I think they were having some issues negotiating with the Sears store there.
 

Peepers

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The Eaton Centre is a Cadillac Fairview property, right? I wonder what led them to choose Sherway Gardens...

I am sure that Nordstroms would love to take over the SEARS space at the Eaton Centre (and C-F would love to see that happen) but I suspect that SEARS wants way too much money to surrender the lease. SEARS cannot be making any money at the Eaton Centre, they are just occupying the space until they can get a big offer.

While I am happy to see a formal announcement of a Toronto store , it is disappointing that we have to wait until 2016 to see it realized. I am hoping that market factors (Target) will force SEARS to vacate the Eaton Centre soon and that we will see a Nordstrom's in that space long before 2016.
 

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