Boulder, CO—The results are in and American shoppers have named their new favorite fashion retailer: Nordstrom.
In its annual consumer survey about what qualities make a retailer a favorite with shoppers, Market Force Information, a customer intelligence research company,
said the Seattle-based better department store was praised for its customer service, atmosphere, easy return policy and designer merchandise.
Nordstrom supplanted Kohl’s which had won the number one spot for three consecutive years. This year, Kohl’s moved to the No. 2 spot overall, followed by Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney.
“Nordstrom has cultivated a distinctive brand over the past century, and while it’s known for its selection of designer clothing, its real claim to fame is quality customer service,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “We weren’t hugely surprised to see Nordstrom and Kohl’s rank one and two in this year’s study, since both brands share a customer-centric approach that breeds loyalty, recommendations and customer delight.”
Market Force also looked at how the “favorite fashion” retailers compared in various attributes to determine if they set apart the leaders from the rest. Again, Nordstrom led in six of the eight attributes, from great service to merchandise selection to dressing room interiors and store layout. Banana Republic ranked second in the influential customer service category, followed by American Eagle Outfitters, another retailer that performed consistently well across the board. Off-price retailers Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls earned the highest marks for their value, while Kohl’s was lauded for its loyalty program.
Customers Love ‘A Liberal Return Policy’
Asked about ways retailers could improve their favorite status, Eden-Harris said:“We discovered that a liberal return policy is the attribute that matters most to consumers. Retailers that recognize customer service doesn’t end once a purchase is made have the ability to build a longstanding, trusting relationship with their customers.”
While Nordstrom earned top honors as the favorite overall fashion retailer, other chains rose to the top when survey respondents were asked to rate their favorite brands in specific fashion categories, including casual wear, business wear, children’s clothing, sports apparel and evening wear.
Kohl’s landed in the top three in every category except evening wear, including ranking as the overwhelming favorite in casual wear and children’s clothes. Nordstrom was the decisive leader in the business wear and evening wear categories, with Macy’s coming in a distant second in both. Dick’s was far and away the preferred retailer for sports clothing, followed by Sports Authority and Kohl’s. The children’s clothing category rankings were the closest, with Kohl’s edging out a lead over Carter’s, and Target taking the third-place spot.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted in February across the United States. The pool of 4,000 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 60% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to more than 65. Approximately 40% were men and 60% were women and nearly two-thirds are married. www.marketforce.com