Nordstroms

Who knew that under the facade of extraordinary service was a darker side of the high end fashion scene at Nordstroms Department stores.  I for one have always thought so highly of the, in my opinion, overly priced clothing store.  It was a place that the rich and credit extended people went and received the most lavish service of all the department stores.  However, after reading the case study about the dissension that is occurring among the sales staff, i have started to see the high end fashion store as just another place where they want your money at any cost.

The main point of the case study is that Nordstroms’ sale employees are either not reporting all the hours they have worked or have been told not to report all the hours.  I my opinion the reason why they are not wanting to report all their hours is because of the commission and promotion system that they use.  There are definitely situations in which a commission program can be a motivator to do your best work and better the company.  However, in this case the employees are not motivated to better the company but only to do what is best for them.  Their SPH program (Sales Per Hour) is not what I would consider a good motivator but more of a stress and possible job liability. 

I am not saying that all of the extra services that Nordstrom’s provides are not a necessary or desirable asset to the company.  What i am saying is that not paying people for the work that they do because they are afraid that it will hurt their SPH numbers is not a good system.  There are parts of the system that I think are good for the employees and the company.   For example, the fact that they promote from within offering manager positions to those who have worked hard and deserve it.  Also, i dont think that they should change the system to the point that it will affect the treatment of the customers and what the outstanding service they already provide. 

I think my main question is how can a company with some notoriety have so many underlying problems?  Also how can there be so many complaints from one branch and not in others?   I think that it really stems from the management.  The fact that each store has its own sort of creative freedom to run the store how they see fit I think is where the problem starts.  Therefore, they have created these silos of discontent and satisfied employees.  For a company that is still run by some of the original Nordstrom Family, how could they not know that there was so many problems within the company?  Also, should other department stores still be using Nordstrom as the epitome of a successful operation?

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