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Like a indie rock Lucinda Williams, Lissie follows her smokey, sultry vocals wherever they may take her. Check out the live version of the track “In Sleep,” originally from her Catching a Tiger LP. If you like what you see/hear, check her out October 15th at the Triple Rock Social Club.
Nordstrom Struggles to Hire Experienced Staff in Northeast Ohio.(Originated from Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio) go to website nordstrom promotion code
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News August 29, 1997 | Ethridge, Mary Aug. 29–Good help is hard to find these days.
Just about anyone in retail will tell you that.
Great help is mighty tough to come by.
So imagine the task facing bosses at Nordstrom Inc. — the ultimate provider of customer service — as they scoured Northeast Ohio this summer for folks to work at their first Ohio store opening next month at Beachwood Place.
Nordstrom wasn’t looking for just any sales clerks. They were desperately seeking more than 400 local retail veterans who wouldn’t mind, indeed would thrive on, kissing the feet of potential customers.
“Good labor is the heart of the Nordstrom philosophy and its success,” said Dale Lewison, a professor of retailing at the University of Akron. “They will do what they need to do to find the people to make it work. They have to.” Some fellow Beachwood Place merchants say their staffs have been raided, with some of the best people lured by Nordstrom promises of hefty commissions and healthy benefits plans.
“They’ve been around. They’ve stopped people (retail clerks) in the mall to talk to them,” said Hilary McCallum, manager of the Enzo Angiolini shoe store at Beachwood. “It’s a competitive field. People are jumping ship for Nordstrom.” Bonnie Culp is one such person. The veteran sales clerk is leaving Cache, a women’s clothing store at Beachwood, to work for Nordstrom beginning next week. Nordstrom offered Culp about 35 hours a week. Cache could only offer her 12. Nordstrom has a generous health plan, including vision and dental benefits. Cache does not. And although her wage will be about $1 less an hour at Nordstrom (she declined to name a figure), the potential for commissions is far greater than at Cache, she said.
Culp and Cache store manager Cheryl Walker said they feel Nordstrom didn’t do anything devious to hire Culp and others.
“They ran newspaper ads. They interviewed me three times. They did what retailers do,” Culp said.
“There wasn’t any foul play,” Walker said. “People went on their own. I understand why Bonnie has to go.” Not all managers are as open-minded.
“It’s created an incredibly cutthroat environment here,” said a manager of a Beachwood shoe store. The woman, named Stephanie, asked that her last name not be used because she was afraid of repercussions from her employer. “Some people are trying to match what Nordstrom is offering. Others are just throwing their hands up in the air. We can’t all compete.” Tracy LaCrosse, spokesperson for Nordstrom, said the company did not pirate employees from other Beachwood retailers.
“The last thing we want to do is something negative like that when we’re entering such a wonderful, new market,” LaCrosse said.
Robert Spector, Seattle-based author of The Nordstrom Way, said the company doesn’t need to pirate.
“The Nordstrom reputation precedes it, and it’s incredibly appealing,” Spector said.
Larry Gresham, a retailing expert at Texas A&M University, said other retailers are naturally left begging for mercy. see here nordstrom promotion code
“That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Gresham said. “It means other retailers have to keep up or get out if they want to compete for employees and customers.
The fallout can already be seen at the mall. Since 1995, when Nordstrom announced its plans to open the store at Beachwood Place, major retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s, have made massive and expensive renovations to their stores there.
Calls to the corporate headquarters of both companies were not returned.
Retailing experts such as Gresham say Nordstrom puts all its sales people on commissions ranging from about 6.5 percent in clothing to 13 percent in children’s shoes.
Annual pay can run more than $100,000 a year for a good Nordstrom employee.
“That looks so good to someone in the retail industry,” Gresham said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average retail wage as $12,000 a year, Greshman said, and most specialty stores don’t have comprehensive benefits packages.
Lewison said Nordstrom tries to woo potential employees with the same enthusiasm it offers customers.
“They court them. And how many times are people at that level in the retail industry really courted?” he said. “Not often. It’s flattering and enticing.” And Gresham said Nordstrom’s decentralized management policy, which allows local clerks to make major decisions, is refreshing.
“They believe there are no rules, just do right,” Gresham said. “For the salesperson who wants flexibility, it’s ideal.” But once employees start working for Nordstrom, they had better perform.
Nordstrom has sales of about $400 a square foot, double the industry average. Clerks are expected to sell more than $120 worth of merchandise an hour, Spector said. Success is met with rewards. Failure is met with the boot.
“Expectations are incredibly high,” Gresham said. “Consequently, the pressure is intense.” Spector said sales clerks in the shoe department are required to show each customer on the floor at least four pairs of shoes, even if they ask to see only one.
Jerry Gordon, manager of Christian St. John, a men’s clothing store in Beachwood, said he believes such expectations will lead to massive weeding out of employees in the coming months.
“They’ll start with all these people, but I know from experience that many, many of them will not work out,” Gordon said. “They’ll be out the door before they know it if they don’t do well.” Spector agrees.
“Success is the corporate culture at Nordstrom. If you aren’t a self-starter, forget it,” Spector said. “It’s not for everyone — as I’m sure some of the new employees in Cleveland will find out.” —– —– NOBE, Ethridge, Mary
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