PERSONAL SHOPPING BY E-MAILIN THE PIPELINE FOR NORDSTROM
Byline: Sharon Edelson
NEW YORK--Nordstrom has found a new use for E-mail--shopping. Nordstrom Personal Touch America, the Seattle-based retailer's latest foray into the interactive arena, will allow E-mail users to shop for apparel, shoes and accessories. It will be online 24 hours a day. Every request or order to NPTA will be answered by a Nordstrom personal shopper at the chain's downtown Seattle store. "Anyone out there in the E-mail world can communicate with a live person," said Pat Adkisson, operations and business manager for direct sales at Nordstrom. "It's a way to do suggestive selling." Because E-mail does not carry pictures, Adkisson said customers would have to have an idea of what they want. The personal shopper, with the aid of a previously submitted customer profile, would then search for appropriate products. NPTA, a collaboration between Nordstrom, MCI and ConnectSoft, a computer software company, will be available to Internet users and MCI Mail users at no charge. For PC owners with modems but no link to an E-mail service, the company offers "Nordstrom Connection," a package that includes all the necessary software, for $25. NPTA accepts the Nordstrom credit card, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Orders will be shipped by two-day Federal Express. Nordstrom has been actively exploring other forms of electronic retailing. The company will participate in the interactive tests of Bell Atlantic and U.S. West's Interactive Video Enterprises next year, involving home shopping and movies on demand.
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