Nordstrom Inc.’s intense focus on customer service seems to be paying off.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Seattle-based retailer ranked highest in the Luxury Institute’s 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index, a survey that tracks U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year and takes into account a retailer’s store personnel, shopping experience and the consumer’s overall satisfaction.

Nordstrom scored 8.41 out of 10, followed by Bergdorf Goodman at 8.37 and Barneys New York with 8.23. Nordstrom was also the most widely visited luxe chain in the survey, with 36 percent of participants reporting they shopped at the retailer during the previous 12 months. Only 6 percent had shopped at Bergdorf’s, while 7 percent made a trip to Barneys.

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“Retailers, especially in luxury, are selling experiences to customers more than they are selling any particular good,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of the Luxury Institute. “In the case of a retailer like Nordstrom, we see that a program of continuous improvement in the customer experience can lead to higher degrees of loyalty and improved financial performance.”

The group said 96 percent of the Nordstrom shoppers surveyed planned to shop at the chain again and 94 percent recommend the retailer to friends and close family members.

The people who participated in the survey reported an average income of $292,000 and an average net worth of $3 million.

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