Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Where My Mom and I Bond over Clothing Racks

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Where My Mom and I Bond over Clothing Racks

Article excerpt

I'm not sure if there is such thing as a shopping "gene," but if there is, my mother has it. I don't. Must have skipped a generation.

Ever since I was a kid, she carted me around the malls in the Tampa Bay area, picking out my clothes, shoes and accessories. She buys clothes for everyone in my family, too, immediate and extended. She even buys my friends clothes -- just because a particular shirt or outfit "looked like them" to her.

But whatever passion or fashion sense my mother has, it was not passed down to me.

I cringe when pulling into crowded shopping mall parking lots. I try my best to avoid them during peak hours, when I know the most shoppers are there, crowding the aisles and checkout counters.

Browsing department stores for something new to wear is not necessarily my idea of fun. It's more like a chore.

That is, until I am at Nordstrom.

It's a store my mom and I not only agree on, but it's also a place where maybe -- maybe -- we both have fun, too. We've spent hours together in Nordstrom, trying on different styles of clothes for all sorts of occasions. Nordstrom is our common ground.

So to me, it's of no surprise that the Seattle-based chain was No. 1 on this year's American Customer Satisfaction Index survey, outranking other chains like Target and Kohl's. In fact, Nordstrom has topped the charts nearly every year since the mid-1990s.

At least part of the rating stems from Nordstrom's legendary customer service. Have you heard the one about the snow tires? Employees there go above and beyond to help you find merchandise you're looking for.

The last time I was at a Nordstrom store, in Tampa's International Plaza, an employee personally escorted my mother and me to the women's department and began pulling our sizes and matching outfits together after we mentioned we were looking for work-appropriate skirts and blouses. Talk about cutting your browsing time in half.

After an exhausting afternoon of trying on outfits, we grabbed a bite and some coffee at the retailer's Cafe Bistro. …

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