For the sixth year in a row, in an annual study by Market Force Information, Nordstrom earned the top spot as the United States’ favorite premium fashion retailer — and it’s largely due to the department store’s customer service.
Polling more than 10,000 consumers, the study took into account factors such as store atmosphere, size options, checkout speed and merchandise selection — all areas in which Nordstrom ranked No. 1. (The Composite Loyalty Index, where Nordstrom led overall, also includes the value for money spent, shoppers’ ability to create a look, the ease of finding items and valuable loyalty cards.)
Despite ranking above other chains, the Seattle-based company saw a drop from its previously recorded 64 percent, scoring 56 percent to edge past plus-size clothing brand Lane Bryant in second place at 52 percent. Dillard’s, Forever 21 and Kohl’s tied for third at 46 percent.
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The report also considered shoppers’ purchasing likelihood when assisted by sales personnel, with research revealing that 43 percent of customers claimed they received help from an associate during their last shopping trip and only 38 percent were given suggestions for items that fit their needs. Among these retailers, Lane Bryant and Nordstrom consistently delivered.
“Retailers spend good money to market, promote and advertise their brands to lure shoppers into their doors, but if their front-line representatives are failing to engage customers and deliver on the brand promise and fundamental customer service basics, they could easily lose that sale to their competitor next door,” Market Force chief customer officer Brad Christian said in a statement.
As for footwear rankings, athleisure continues to dominate the shoe retail market, propelling Nike to top honors once again, with a 45 percent score. Skechers followed at a close second while DSW Shoes and Foot Locker surpassed Shoe Carnival, which made the greatest gains among the category’s brands. (Last year, Shoe Carnival scored 32 percent on the composite index.)
Although retail continues to see uneven trends stemming from digital disruption and shifts in consumer spending, there’s a silver lining: Brick and mortar appears to remain a popular shopping option, with customers mainly driven by value, service and the overall store atmosphere.
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