Nordstrom has been able to grow net sales, and more importantly same store sales, annually for the last 5 years. The company's consistency can be attributed largely to its loyal customers who enjoy the Nordstrom shopping experience and customer service.
During the economic downturn, companies had different strategies for keeping customers in their stores. Wal-Mart for example, decreased their prices on some of its already lowest price items. Nordstrom decided to focus on having a better inventory management system and better shopping experience for its customers. Nordstrom's new inventory management system, which has been running for nearly a year now, entails allowing customers to see every item a Nordstrom store and warehouse from the company's website. By linking its inventory to its customers, Nordstrom has simplified and enhanced the shopping experience. Customers can see what is in stock, have items shipped from one store to another, and can even request things be put on hold so they can be tried on in stores. This new inventory management system has allowed Nordstrom to outperform its competitors through the downturn. In the year since the change, Nordstrom's same-store sales have increased by 8%, higher than the department store average. Additionally, the company's inventory turnover rate is 5.41, an increase from 4.48 in 2005. The new and innovative system puts Nordstrom in a great position moving forward as the economy continues to rebound and as consumers start to spend more money.