Sunday, June 30, 2013

Anniversary time at Nordstrom

For the past week we have been preparing for our Anniversary Rally for the entire store. The rally is to get every one pumped up and excited for anniversary sale which is just around the corner. 

As interns we actually had a pretty big part in the rally. This years rally was a super hero theme and it was hilarious. Our job as Hero's in Training was to remodel our fashion victim with hot new merchandise that we have for anniversary. It was a lot of fun! I got to be on the designer team so it was amazing to get to wear designer clothes that haven't even hit the floors yet. I also have to say our fashion victim looked amazing in a Roberto Cavalli leopard dress and a Pologeogris fur coat! Hot hot hot!

The rally went amazing it was a lot of fun and I was really happy we got to be a part of it. Also, in my department, we had a little photo shoot to send out to customers to get them excited about anniversary, as well as, our newest pre-fall merchandise. I have learned that anything you can do to attract your customer always helps. I'm really excited for anniversary to start and can't wait to reach my goals for the sale! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nordstrom Rack Day

This week we got to do something really exciting! We got to have a Rack experience day and since I have never been to a Nordstrom Rack it was really exciting and very informational for me.  I fell in love with the Rack, I mean who doesn't love Nordstrom merchandise at clearance prices. 

I really learned a lot about what sets the Rack apart from a full line store and how they still give that amazing customer services but its more along the lines of being there for the customer instead of trying to build a lasting relationship. The Rack is set up into a few different departments unlike the full line stores which have a department for every little thing. It's mostly a women's, men's, and kids department, accessories, and shoes    . There are two different managers who manage those departments and everything is a lot more laid back. 

The Rack experience is still just as amazing as the full line store experience plus you can always find some pretty amazing deals. Although, the employees don't work off of commission they are still there to assist you when you need help. I was actually able to find two great purchases that I was really stoked about and I can't wait to go back. I would definitely like to work in a Rack one day as I grow with the company. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Managing Your Business

     We recently had our second class for the internship. It was hosted at the Pentagon City Nordstrom, and the main topic was managing your business. In order to become a successful leader you have to be able to manage your own business very well through out the day. This can make or break your ability to be a successful manager. In this lesson we discussed compliance, scheduling, and organizing and managing your day.

     One of the first things we discussed was compliance guidelines which may not be the most exciting aspect to being an assistant manager but they are still super important. You have to make sure your employees are being paid for their time, scheduled fairly, and given clear expectations. Also, customer privacy and public image falls under the compliance guideline. I learned that it is super important to make sure these guidelines are being followed in order to run a successful business.

     Another important thing we learned to day was how to organize and manage our day. A well known Nordstrom saying is "On the floor 11-4", meaning during that time you should be out on the floor supporting your team, interacting with customers, and coaching selling. This is the most important time of you day because it helps your team and at the end of the day helps drive results. As for the rest of your day you should be pulling reports, merchandising the floor, checking personal book, resolving issues, and any other things that need to be done well your not present on the floor. There's many things that do have to be covered through out the day, so it is best to make a "To Do List" that way you can remember to complete all your tasks.

     This class was very useful. It gave me a lot of insight to what an assistant managers day consists of, as well as, tips to make it go by smoothly. I learned that a planner will be a major necessity to keep me organized and on top of everything. Also, I know that I will absolutely have to plan my day, everyday and make sure to prioritize my list so that the most important things are being done as soon as possible. I really enjoy these classes and being able to go to the different stores in our region and see how they do things.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fall Trends

Jimmy Choo "Drift" Bootie & Clutch + Prada Pump
     Basically the past week my department manager has really been going over the trends for our pre-fall merchandise. Mostly what the hot items are going to be. I am loving the trends for this fall from all of the designers were carry. There are a few pairs that are absolute must haves for the fall season!

     One of the hottest trends for this fall are pointy toe pumps. Almost every pump we have received for fall merchandise has a pointy toe. I have fallen in love with so many of the styles, so I know customers will too! Our target customer for our area is a more conservative lady, therefore, we do carry a more moderate heel height to meet her needs, but we definitely have plenty of different styles to choose from.
Jimmy Choo "Wheel" Smoking Slipper & Bag

     Designers are really playing around with different textures this fall. Which makes the shoe stand out more and definitely gives the customer a 2 for 1 kinda deal. Jimmy Choo has really been mixing up the textures for fall. There are a few different styles that fade from suede to a patent leather, and also, from one color to another. There are pretty amazing and most definitely my favorite style for fall, not to mention, they are also pointy toe! =)

     A few other trends you can look forward to for fall are, open toed booties (LOVE LOVE LOVE), bow pumps, suede to pony hair, and shiny shiny shiny! Overall, I'm pretty much in shoe heaven at Nordstrom! Our pre-fall show case event is tomorrow giving our customers the opportunity to get their fall merchandise asap. We are also giving out gifts, and having contests. It should be a lot of fun <3 !

Fav style of the week! "Jimmy Choo 'Anouk' Degrade Pump"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Providing Amazing Customer Service Actually Entails

     A couple times this week I have been able to provide some really good customer service, by just being more involved with the customer and going out of my way to really meet their needs. Not every customer is the same, some customers come in get what they want and then they are on there way. Other customers need someone their to be honest and really help them so they can leave happily and ready to show off their new shoes.

     There were a few customers this week that I was really able to help in every way and make their life a little easier. One of my customers was looking for a few different pairs of shoes, but a few of them we didn't have her size. That's not really a huge deal at Nordstrom though because you can do a merchandise search on the item and it will pull up the every Nordstrom in the company were it is still available. So I was able to find this customer her shoe at a different store and was able to have it shipped right to her house. I think that is an awesome thing that Nordstrom does it really keeps our customers satisfied!

     One of my other customers this week was looking for a shoe for a wedding that she had to attend that evening. She was kind of in a hurry, so I knew that I needed to try my hardest to help her find what she was looking for and get her on her way. I pulled her a few different shoes that she had been looking at and also a pair that was kinda different that I thought she might like. Luckily enough she fell in love with the shoe that she really hadn't had  in mind. It fit her foot perfectly and was a more comfortable fit than the other shoes she had picked. I was really glad to have been able to read my customer well and go a little bit outside of her box. She left really happy with her purchase and I can't wait to follow up with her to see how the shoes worked for her at the wedding.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Meeting Erik Nordstrom

     This week has been really exciting. As an intern I got to attend my first internship class. I also got to attend my first rec meeting. The rec meetings are for every  Nordstrom in our region to come together to talk about how the region is doing, announce any changes, and also praise employees who have been working hard. The rec meeting was a lot of fun with music, a few games, and also Erik Nordstrom was a guest speaker! Erik is one of the three Nordstrom brothers, and he is the president of all full line stores.

     During the rec meeting Erik mainly talked about new things that were happening and how the company is trying to evolve more to assist customers in every way. He showed a video on new apps that are in the process, as well as, new technologies that will be very useful. Another topic that Erik touched on was customer service. He read allowed some emails that he had received from customers and just continued with the fact that doing the best we can for our customers really pays off in the end.

     After the rec meeting all the interns in the region got to have a question and answer meeting with Erik. It was a really good experience to hear his insights about Nordstrom, and what it was like for him working his way to the bottom (remember inverted pyramid). All of the interns had lots of questions, but mainly the questions were focused on Nordstrom heading to Canada, and how pricing and everything is going to play out. Erik was very helpful in answering our questions and giving us more knowledge about the company.  I really enjoyed meeting him and hearing his story.
Tyson's Corner Interns with Erik Nordstrom

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nordstrom Culture

     Every other week the interns in our region get together for our internship classes. This week the class was held at Tysons Corner, and it was on Nordstrom Culture. We covered many things that we learned in the new hire orientation only in more detail. The main topics of our class were; the inverted pyramid, servant leadership, and leaving it better than you found it.

     As intern we are in the position to be promoted to an assistant manager position at the end of our internship based upon our performance. According to Nordstrom's inverted pyramid you don't move up the pyramid you move down. I think this business strategy is excellent and works really well for Nordstrom, since they are a company based solely on their reputation for amazing customer service. Nordstrom focuses all of their attention to who is at the top of the pyramid which is the customer. After the customer comes the sales team, and anyone below them is their in order to support them to do the best they can in assisting and providing for the customer.
Inverted Pyramid sample

     The next thing we talked about in our class was servant leadership. Nordstrom believes in promoting from within, meaning everyone starts at the top and works their way to the bottom. Even the three Nordstrom brothers' started out in the stock room and made their way to the bottom. Servant leadership to me means that you have worked for your position, and that you are able to better support your team because you were once in their shoes. As a servant leader you wouldn't ask you team to do something you would never do. You also would be able to grow from all your past experiences. Nordstrom relies heavily on servant leadership in order to have a good team who is willing to provide excellent customer service.

     One of the last things we discussed was, leaving it better than you found it. At Nordstrom they believe in constantly evolving and becoming better today than they were yesterday. As a Nordstrom employee working there way to the bottom of the pyramid you should always be leaving the last position you held better than what it was when you first got there. By being a servant leader is one of the first steps you can take to make this happen. You can also think out of the box, know your customers wants, and build a strong team, who is willing to go above and beyond for the customer.

     This class really opened my eyes to Nordstrom's culture and I am glad to have a better understanding of it now. It amazes me how they really believe in promoting from within, and that even the Nordstrom brothers' were once in the stock room. It just goes to show you what a good company Nordstrom is to work for. They are constantly changing and evolving to meet their customers needs and are on top of their game. I look forward to our next class and getting more involved in the internship.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Time for Fall Merchandise Already?!

     Ever since my first day on Monday we've been getting new merchandise in almost every day, and it is all pre-fall merchandise. I always knew fall merchandise came out pretty soon I guess I just never realized how soon. Especially with the designer shoes and clothing, pre-fall merchandise is coming in and leaving just as fast. It's just really neat to see it happen in the store. Some customers have been coming in commenting on how crazy it is that boots are already out, and others already know that they have to get these items now because they won't be around when it is fall.

Dior Boot and Bootie

     It is one of our main goals during this time to be selling pre-fall merchandise, because it has to be pushed out so that more can come in. If we don't get it sold it could possibly be moved to another store who is selling it, so that is another thing we have to keep in mind. Today I actually sold some pre-fall items, so I was pretty excited! Also, customers who are in with the new and who want the newest merchandise can even make reservations for the pre-fall merchandise that we have not received yet. Once they make a reservation the shoe will be shipped to them as soon as it comes in. Reservations are another thing that our team tries to focus on.

Tory Burch Bootie
     I really enjoying seeing this new merchandise hit our floors that designers are putting out, as well as, being able to see the ones that haven't came out yet. It's things like that that you don't get see without this experience. In a couple of weeks we are actually having a pre-fall show case event for all of the pre-fall merchandise coming in. We will be having a drawing for our customers, as well as, a contest between the team. I am really excited about the event and hopefully it will be a good learning experience. I have learned so much in just the first week that I will definitely be able to take it with me for the future.

Gucci Boots


Friday, June 7, 2013

Learning New Things

    Over the past couple of days I have been learning everything from the stock room and the POS to how to approach customers in my own way. Everyone in my department has been really friendly and helpful while I have been learning everything. I will be honest it's a lot to take in and to get use to. It will definitely take me another week or so to be able to fully know how to do everything, and still be able to assist my customers at the same time.

     One of my main focuses right now is to learn the stock room like the back of my hand. Everyone of my team members has said that it is highly necessary to be able to assist your customers in a timely manner. In order to give them outstanding service I don't want to have to keep them waiting. The stock room is pretty tricky, because there are so many shoes, but I am already getting better at finding my way around..

     Today was my first day on the floor, not in training, and it went pretty well. I got to be in the rotations with the team which consists of being on the floor, straightening up the stock room, or at the cash rep answering the phone or fulfilling DTC's (direct to customer). There's really no down time, I had something to do the entire 8 hours I was there today. To top off the day I actually got some sales and that's really something I enjoyed doing. Helping customers pick out their shoes for an event or just because is really fun and a really good way to learn more about them to be able to assist them in the future. I plan on continuing to get better at the POS and in the stock room, so hopefully within the next week I can really focus on creating good relationships with my customers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Positon, Expectations, & Goals

     I have officially started as a Nordstrom intern, and so far it has been really great. I am in the Salon Shoes department and I am really excited to start selling and building relationships with customers! These first two days I have been in training. In my classes I have learned all about the history of Nordstrom; who they are, what they do, and where they are going in the future. I found out that Nordstrom in Tysons Corner was the first one put on the East Coast. Not only is it the flagship store, but it is also the largest one on the East Coast, as well. It is really exciting to be a part of the Tysons Corner Nordstrom Team and be able to learn more about this company.
An official Nordstrom employee :)

     Today my day was split up into training and shadowing my department manager. This morning I was trained on the POS and got to do transactions using different types of payment methods. I also learned selling techniques, different ways to approach your customer, and how to connect with them to build that personal relationship that Nordstrom strives towards with every customer. I also learned a lot about their fashion rewards cards, which is a great way for loyal Nordstrom customers to gain benefits by shopping there. The second half of my day I got to meet my department manager and a few of my team members in the Salon Shoes department. I pretty much got to dive right in with helping customers, but mostly I was just trying to learn our department and our stock room. It was a long successful day and I'm pretty stoked for learning more through out the rest of the week.
Outfit of the day!
     I am really thrilled to be a part of the Nordstrom team this summer and gain new knowledge and skills from this amazing experience. Big things are changing and happening with Nordstrom and I'm glad to be a part of it. I haven't been told yet what my daily/weekly goals are, but I plan to do what I can to reach those, as well as, make and reach my own personal goals. I really want to put everything I have into this internship and hopefully be offered a position for after I graduate. I am ready to meet customers needs and building lasting relationships with them. We have been told to be honest, go above and beyond, and make sure they really love what they are buying, and I plan to do all of those to satisfy my customers. I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of this internship and I plan to make the most of it!