This post was written for the JJ’s List blog by guest blogger Celene Peurye.
Quietly, without publicity or a cause-related marketing campaign, without a voting contest, this major fashion department store is helping individuals with disabilities and their families in a personal, meaningful way.
My son has a mild physical disability. Due to the disability, and perhaps compounded by foot surgery he had as a young boy, there is a discrepancy in the size of his feet causing him to need two different shoe sizes. Children grow out of their shoes fast, so buying two pairs each time to split the sizes for one pair of shoes that fit could be very expensive. Nordstrom has a wonderful policy. If someone has a discrepancy in their shoe sizes of at least one full size, they will split the two different-sized pairs to make the pair needed and charge for only one pair. Fantastic!
We have shopped there for my son’s shoes since he was a little boy. I was very concerned that the policy was only for the children’s shoe department and worried about what would happen once he needed men’s sizes. Over time the difference became more pronounced and the shoes much more expensive. This wonderful policy is still available for the adult shoe sizes.
Every sales associate in the shoe department is aware of the policy. They always are helpful and take the time needed to correctly fit the shoe (as opposed to many other department stores where one can barely find a sales person to bring out the shoes and then they just hand you the box). In addition, sales associates have often spent time searching for a particular shoe at other Nordstrom stores if the size we needed was not in stock at our store. Each time we have a different sales person and each time the service is given pleasantly and with interest in satisfying our need, even if the shoes are on sale.
Still, it’s not easy to find the right shoe. My son needs a particular style to provide the right amount of support. It also has to meet his fashion sense. On a couple of occasions we just could not find the right shoe at Nordstrom. We found a shoe at another store and told them about Nordstrom’s policy, asking if they would match it. March 7, 2012The answer was no, we had to buy two pairs and waste the unused mates. Another time the shoe my son wanted was no longer carried at Nordstrom, but was available from the maker’s own website. I wrote the customer service department of the manufacturer, explaining how much my son liked their shoes, his situation, and Nordstrom’s policy, asking if they would match it – and received no response.
This points out how unique and special is Nordstrom. Maybe is it because they started out as a large shoe store. They are known for their commitment to excellent customer service. Still, this is costly. I’m not sure what they do with the mismatched mates. I heard that they send them to their warehouse – where they may be sorted and sent to those who have use for the opposite split sizes.
But the cost they absorb comes back in the form of life-long customer loyalty. Nordstrom does not seek recognition for this important service. Due to this policy, Nordstrom is my preferred store. Whenever possible, I will shop there and happily pay full-price for my shoes, clothes and accessories. When I receive customer surveys, I purposely write in about the importance of this service. I want Nordstrom to know how much we appreciate it and hope they continue this valuable service. Children and adults with disabilities face so many challenges, and many additional hidden costs. Please join me in thanking Nordstrom for helping and caring. You can contact Corporate Social Responsibility at email@example.com, Customer Service as firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by and chat with the Shoe Department Manager at your local store.