Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack

NORDSTROM is an American upscale fashion retailer with over 250 stores located across 36 states.  Their online portal nordstrom.com receives over 20 million visits each month making it one of the largest and most successful online shopping sites in the world.

In addition to their main site, Nordstrom also sell online through nordstromrack.com, a relatively new site offering discounted fashion products and through its online private sale site, HauteLook.

Product Line (5/5)



Nordstrom began as a shoe shop over one hundred years ago, and shoes remain their flagship product line. However they also have an extensive range of designer clothing, accessories, handbags, beauty and other products.

Nordstrom promote themselves as providing ‘affordable luxury’ – taking a bet both ways so to speak, and is reflected in the type of brands they retail.

Websites (4/5)

Nordstrom.com is the website for the standard flagship brand.

It’s a slick site with great graphics and functionality.

 

 

Similarly Nordstromrack.com  maintains the same upmarket and stylish feel as the flagship brand.

 

Rewards Program (1.5/5)

NORDSTROM REWARDS is the consumer rewards program attached to Nordstrom’s in-house debit and credit cards or with their branded Visa Signature card.

Members earn 2 points for every $1 they spend at Nordstrom using their card. Once the members has earned 2000 points they will receive a $20 Nordstrom Note to use as credit. This equates to  2% cash back, though members do have access to up to four (depending on level) self-designated triple point days.

The ‘level’ of your membership depends on the amount of money you spend at Nordstrom’s during a calendar year.

The unique and possibly best feature of membership is the access to 100% reimbursement (in the form of Nordstrom Notes for levels 1-3, and cash for level 4) for alterations on Nordstom purchases. Yearly caps apply based on membership level.

Membership is either connected to your bank account with a Nordstrom Rewards Debit card, or by using credit. You can also get a Nordstrom branded Visa Signature Card and earn points for expenditure earned for purchases spent outside Nordstrom’s.

At stayhomeshopping we’re not big fans of this Rewards Program. The cash-back is amongst the lowest on offer of equivalent retailers and the requirement to pay using the Nordstrom card precludes the use of another credit card at purchase and any of the associated benefits you might get from using the other card, such as airline miles.

Nevertheless, if you’re a regular shopper and likely to take advantage of the alterations service then it’s certainly worth considering joining given it’s free.

Customer service and returns (5/5)

Nordstrom has a legendary reputation for its liberal returns policy. The website simply states with regard to returns:

Don’t love it? Don’t worry—returns and exchanges are easy. Simply send your item back or bring it to a store near you.

Often cited is a story about a man who was once refunded for tires from an Alaskan branch  – when Nordstrom have never sold tires…ever. Although the company (now) claims that the story is true , there is some doubt about its veracity.

Christian Conte in the Jacksonville Business Journal sums it up nicely:

Whether the story is true or not, the fact is that, unlike at most other stores, Nordstrom will generally take your purchase back without a receipt if it carries the item in question. Items that clearly couldn’t have been sold at Nordstrom however (like snow tires and chainsaws) aren’t eligible for return.

For the US-based online shopper, return shipping is free by using the return slip and no time limit is made explicit. In fact, Nordstrom staff are advised to apply common sense, whatever that is!

It’s important to note that Nordstrom Rack has a much stricter returns policy and many customers have been caught out assuming that the normal returns apply for the discount wing of Nordstrom. They don’t.

International customers also have a different, less generous, return policy, though clearly as good, if not better than its competitors.

Shipping (5/5)

Standard shipping is FREE. No coupons or minimum orders are required. Charges apply for faster delivery.

Nordstrom also offer “buy-onlie-pick-it-up-in store”.

Nordstrom.com geo-defaults meaning that international customers will see their pricing in their own currencies. Shipping is provided through Borderfree.

Mismatched Shoes

Nordstrom will allow those with odd-sized feet to order two pairs of shoes and return, free of charge, the ‘odd-pair’ for a full refund.

Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom claim that “Nordstrom Rack is where style meets savings” and it’s an apt description for the ‘budget’ side of their business. The products on sale are typically the same upmarket product – but perhaps last year’s fashion or an overstock or the like.

Savvy stay at home shoppers really should look through Nordstrom Rack first if they’re just a little budget conscious.

As noted above, Nordstrom Rack has a different return policy and charges shipping for orders under $100. Shoppers should be aware of this and read the terms carefully.

15 Comments

  • Diego

    Reply Reply September 23, 2014

    Kind of expensive, but they always let you return anything with no worries.

  • Jose

    Reply Reply September 24, 2014

    Nice review.
    Like you, i can’t see the point in joining the rewards program when I get better value by using my Amex and collecting air miles.

  • Geraldine2die

    Reply Reply October 2, 2014

    Why does everyone always talk up their customer service? I’ve had good experiences but mostly they just talk the same trash that every company does when you tell them you’re not happy about something.

  • This is a topic that is close to my heart… Many thanks!
    Where are your contact details though?

  • Stay Home Shopping

    Reply Reply October 22, 2014

    You can email us by clicking on the email icon on the top right (next to the Facebook icon).

  • Hrvoje

    Reply Reply October 30, 2014

    Thank you for this great review! Nordstrom has great shipping service, on which we can rely on. They can be little bit too expensive, but they offer great customer service.

  • Bonnie

    Reply Reply October 30, 2014

    I didn’t know shipping was free on all of their things. That’s fantastic. That’s also nice to know about their shoes though I’ve not met anyone with differently sized shoes. Too bad they can’t do that for those of us with mismatched bra sizes. (Sorry girls, I had to say it.)

  • Diane

    Reply Reply November 1, 2014

    I bought my first Alice+Olivia dress from Nordstrom, after I saved up for almost two months and to this day it’s still my prized possession. Agree, Nordstrom has uber delicious clothing but most of them aren’t budget friendly. I never got to order anything from Nordstrom Rack but most of their stuff looks great; I’ve had my eyes on a leather jacket and if I’ll find it on sale this Christmas it will be mine.

    They’re customer service is also ok, I never had an issue with changing an item and I always got my order. Highly recommended, especially if you feel like splurging.

  • Linda

    Reply Reply May 27, 2015

    Belks, formerly Parisians, also accommodates individuals with odd-sized feet. They refer to their program as medically mismatched shoes. Hope this is helpful.

    • Stay Home Shopping

      Reply Reply June 9, 2015

      Thanks Linda. Apologies for the late response! We’ve sent this info over to our friends at oddshoefinder.com who are following this up directly with Belks.

  • Den

    Reply Reply December 6, 2015

    My Order Number: 801986210 was placed 11/29/2015
    11//30/2015 Item is still available within Nordstrom store.
    12/03/2015 contacted Customer Support – Order not yet shipped. Beauty Stylist said: “Today is day fourth. Your Oder will be shipped today or tomorrow”.
    12/06/2015 Order Cancelled – Unable to Fulfill…

    DO NOT ORDER from this store if you need something ASAP!!!
    Customer support – lie to his customer
    This store absolutely not care about his reputation

    BEWARE Nordstrom store

    P.S. My funds are still in hold, Nordstrom do not care to refund my money!!!!

    Crapy Service

  • Katja G

    Reply Reply May 27, 2016

    This is going to be a bit long.

    In short, we had a worse than bad experience with ordering via Nordstrom.com! After over 2 months of back and forth communication with them we still did not get receive our order!

    If you are interested, here is the story.

    Today, 26th of May it has been 2 and a half month since we placed an online order at Nordstrom.com. Today, despite thier promises, we gave up hoping that soon Nordstrom will deliver all items in this order and went to an alternative retailer.
    Not a single time over the course of these two months have we been offered a discount or a tiny gift voucher for the troubles and the inconvenience we had to go through.
    Here is the story

    March 2016 in anticipation of the arrival of our first baby me and my husband ordered a Mustsy stroller + accessories via Nordstrom.com. The complete package included:
    1 Stroller frame
    1 Seating module
    1 Bassinet
    1 Carseat adapter
    1 Water resistant foot-muff
    Total: $1200
    Two weeks later we received a big box containing, according to the documents attached, all of the above listed items.
    However when we opened the box we found only one item in it- seating module! Kepp in mind that the shipping documentation stated that all items were included. Despite our efforts to search the insides of the box…the rest of the items could not be found in it.
    We called the customer service immediately. After giving it a bit of a doubt, the representative finally believed what we said and offered a solution. Upon which Nordstrom will refund the missing items and we order them again. With a bit of a sour aftertaste we agreed hoping that this was a fluke that can happen to any shop…
    Two weeks after that a new big box arrived accompanied by a paper proudly listing all the missing items as the contents of the box. Guess our surprise when upon opening it we discovered only the bassinet inside (still missing Foot-muff and carseat adapter)!
    This discovery was followed by a call to the customer service. This time they promise to investigate the problem and come back with a solution (this time we refused to do the “refund-reorder” fix again). After having waited for almost two weeks for Nordstrom to fulfill their promise and call us with an update we contacted them. Nothing has been done since our call two weeks before!!! But a new promise was gladly issued that the situation will be fixed.
    Indeed, a few days after we received a call explaining that it is not Nordstrom’s fault but a fault of Mutsy and the mix-up originated on their side. A new promise that the missing items would be delivered within two weeks was made.
    Two weeks later…which is this week (May 23rd) we have neither received the missing items or heard anything from Nordstrom. Again we called their CS who had could not explain the situation or suggest anything else but….cancel the order and reorder the items again! Reluctantly we agreed. This time Nordstrom’s CS representative wpuld order the items for us herself and let us know immediately when it is done. Three days later still no such call or email was received by us. This was the last straw that broke the camel’s back…We called Nordstrom and canceled this order.
    >The end

    The amount of stress we had to go through reordering and literally herding Nordstrom’s CS is immense given the fact that the stroller and accessories were ordered to arrive for the birth of our first child! It was and is extremely upsetting that at no point have we been offered a discount or a gift voucher upon having to reorder the missing items ourselves (missing by the fault of Nordstrom)! It is infuriating that despite an extremely poor CS and the order management system Nordstrom made profit out of our purchase!
    I can not describe how disappointing and upset we are!

    I advise everyone who wish to purchase anything via Nordstrom.com to think twice before they do it.

  • Ruthi

    Reply Reply July 29, 2016

    I like the sale prices. They were wonderful and plenty of variety online. I thought to myself, oh its Nordstrom it should be amazing service, shipping and quality. I put in the order and exited to receive my package, they states ships within 3 days. Well I did not read the fine print or their shipping policy. Ships in 8 business day. Also keep in mind additional 10 days to arrive! Was like what! Even Target is faster!

    After day 1 of place my order, the status states “In Process” , 4 days later, still “In Process”. I call the customer service center (recorder states hold time is 14 minutes!) held on forever just to cancel my order. The customer service rep states” you cannot cancel it ships out today, we cannot cancel for you, you will have to wait patiently receive the merchandise, a return label comes with it and return it right back”. I said okay. Well I will soon find out if I have to spend more time and money and drive to a UPS store to drop off this package.

    SO NOT WORTH ORDERING ONLINE with Nordstrom. Horrible experience.

  • Ingrid Krause

    Reply Reply August 5, 2016

    WOW! I’m reading online reviews and I’m asking myself why would anyone want to shop here? Sounds like lots of negative comments if shopping on line with many rude customer service people….yikes! Not for me!

  • Keekz

    Reply Reply February 14, 2017

    I have ordered several things from Nordstrom Rack, online. They always take FOREVER to arrive (about 10 days). I’m not expecting things to arrive in two days, but there is no reason it should take so long. I made a return via mail, and have still not gotten my refund. I doubt I will get the $100 refund by the time I have to pay my credit card, so I will end up paying $100 extra to my credit card, instead of being able to keep the money in my bank account. I called their customer service about this and their response was that I just have to wait for things to get processed. How long could that possibly take when all they have to do is scan the box?! Given this, and the fact that shipping takes SO long (seriously, how can every other retailer-Macy’s, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Amazon, etc.- ship much faster, and for less money?!?!), I would not recommend shopping there again.

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