Consumer Related Observations Part II

What moves you...

What moves you…Effective Merchandising at Nordstrom’s

ANTI-SEPTIC WIPES NEAR SHOPPING CART AREA…There are some grocery or retail stores that provide anti-septic wipes at the shopping cart area which helps germaphobes or careful shoppers who want to disinfect parts of the shopping cart before getting on with their shopping. In the Midwest, a large portion of the year one needs to shop in quite challenging weather. In fact, if the store is not managed well, many carts are left in the parking lot for hours before corralled in and presented for new guests to the store to use. However, these carts are often cold so the shopping cart handles may remind people of a steering wheel handle where the car has been subject to sleet and snow or cold wind. In frigid winter weather, one could utilize warm gloves to not only address the potential germ issue but also keep your hands warm if exposed to a cold handle.

Jewelry Department At Nordstrom's

Jewelry Department At Nordstrom’s

PRODUCE MANAGER AT TARGET…The Vernon Hills Target appears to have hired employees who have worked in their produce department for at least several years. It’s nice to recognize some of the same employees and possibly have a chat. Miguel is one such employee who manages the produce area. Over the last 10 months or so, I’ve had some nice chats with him. We always talk about produce — sometimes the talk involves apples and sometimes cherries, strawberries or blueberries. On one of my last visits, I wanted his expertise on apples — I was looking for a healthy and tasty apple variety that would help supplement my new eating plan. It was between Gala, Pink Lady, Jazz and Honey Crisps. I know many shoppers swear by Honey Crisp apples being the most delicious apples although most are well aware you have to pay a premium for them. Miguel shook his head back and forth after I had mentioned the Honey Crisp. He essentially said they were good tasting apples but much hype too. In other words, you’ll enjoy the flavor at a premium price. His favorite for the money were Jazz apples. He said they were juicy and had a nice after taste. I certainly enjoyed their taste. I had recently enjoyed Pink Lady’s, not his favorite but I wanted to compare those side by side to the Jazz variety. I think he was surprised when I claim the Pink Lady apple was my favorite of the bunch. Maybe not the best tasting apple of them all but the best value and taste based upon what I had to choose from at that time. I appreciated him allowing me to taste test and chat with him again. It was a small gesture but one that resonates with me.


3M Ear Plugs

360 VIEW…While in Nordstrom’s, my wife an daughter tried on a number of dresses…After some time, I suggested I take some digital pictures of the dresses as after the 2nd or 3rd dress, it’s hard to tell them apart. My wife reluctantly said Ok after I showed her the results. I found that taking pics is only part of the puzzle, looking at it in the mirror helps too. It also helps to get feedback from the group if you can and the sales associate may chime in too. Having pics, mirror options and other people’s opinion may really give you the kind of feedback and view to make a viable decision. Especially on a more expensive dress. Just a thought.

DIRECTIONS WITHIN MACY’S WOULD ASSIST…If anyone has spent any time at Macy’s in Old Orchard you realize that you may exit the store a different way than how you entered. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you may be going in a different direction. Because it’s a large store and it would be helpful to get your bearing, it might be useful to have a location at each of the exits. For example, is this the Northeast or Southwest exit. It might help to learn your way around a mall you may visit every few years.

Chuck Taylor's are still around...

Chuck Taylor’s are still around…

FREE EAR PLUGS FROM 3M…At the local library in Deerfield, Illinois, they have a display, which offers free earplugs to visitors. These ear plugs are  manufactured by 3M, headquartered in St. Paul. First, sometimes, there is some unnecessary noise in a library and these earplugs could mitigate it. Also, it helps with branding. Is it not a win-win by the library and 3M?

IT’S FUN TO BROWSE AROUND NORDSTROM’S DEPARTMENT STORE…I’m a fan of Nordstrom’s and some may ask in what regard? Well, I’m not a shoe lover although I love their display and selection. Am I a fan because of their men’s department? Well, I love their selection and well displayed dress shirts and pants although most articles are beyond my frugal budget. Needless to say, I like their customer service and indeed, they are customer centric.



Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.