While every store catering to the wealthy boasts about its exceptional service, exceptional bling and exclusive merchandise, Nordstrom comes in tops again in the latest ranking from the Luxury Institute.
“The consistency is kind of astounding,” Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza tells Marketing Daily. “We’ve been tracking this for seven years, and while Nordstrom isn’t always No. 1, it’s always close. It really is the master of the craft.”
The study includes U.S. shoppers who earn at least $150,000 per year (with an average of $292,000 and a net worth of $3 million), and evaluates shopper perceptions of a brand’s store personnel, the environment and level of satisfaction with the overall experience. This year, Nordstrom earns an 8.41 out of 10. Pedraza says it is also the most-visited luxury store, with 36% of those in the study having shopped there in the last year, compared with just 7% at Barney’s and 6% at Bergdorf Goodman.
Nordstrom also ranked highest on two critical measures of customer loyalty, he says, with 96% planning to shop there again, and 94% recommending the Seattle-based department store to family and friends.
Barney’s and Bergdorf, however, do better with more expensive items. Some 76% of Bergdorf’s customers say merchandise there is worth the price premium, and 74% of Barney’s shoppers say that. Just 65% say the same about Nordstrom.
“Retailers, especially in luxury, are selling experiences to customers more than they are selling any particular good,” he says. And while many luxury retailers may offer impeccable customer service, “Nordstrom’s 100% money back guarantee is a big pillar of its credibility. Other stores may have great policies too, but it’s more believable from Nordstrom. There is a sense that it’s not about policies, but about the people who work there, and that they are great human beings. Is it a perfect store? No. But it doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to be better than its competition.”