My Time with Nordstrom is done #167

My Time with Nordstrom is done #167

My Time with Nordstrom is done

Blog #166  I talked about why it’s Best to have options to make decisions. In this blog I want to talk about my time with Nordstrom is done.

In the last blog I mentioned I decided to talk to the GM for Northern California. We had a really good relationship so I felt I needed to at least talk this out. Problem was that Nordstrom is usually pretty political so not sure If this would be fruitful or not.

I get to San Francisco Centre early, so I grab a cup of coffee and decide to think through what I was going to say. Should I be completely honest or mostly honest. By that I mean should I air out all the dirty laundry or be politically correct. Fact was I didn’t know if I wanted to stay. After I finished my coffee I decided to walk the mall and then store to see how many familiar faces I could find.

San Francisco Centre was pretty much the same except for a few new stores here and there. As for familiar faces at Nordstrom, there were a few here and there but not many. I tried to avoid the shoe departments because I didn’t want to start any rumors of why I was there. The Salon department where I started was all new faces. Martha and Michael left years ago and most of the salespeople had moved on too. Was this a sign for me?



My dad had worked at Sears all his career. Starting in the toy department, he then moved on to sporting goods. He became a catalog Store Manager in Clovis after about 10 years. I remember helping him out a few times in the stockroom as an unpaid worker. Basically he gave me the retail bug. After my parents divorced he ended up moving to Idaho and managed a few catalog stores before he retired. He got bored after a few years and decided to manage a Habitat for Humanity store. I guess I was used to people in our family having the same job for years and years. 11 years was a pretty good run, am I going to walk away from it now?

As usual, I get to her office 10 minutes early which was my thing. If you aren’t early your late was what I learned over the years. We sit down and exchange pleasantries. She was the ultimate cheer leader. I loved hearing her talk during the recognition meetings because she was so positive. I decided to tell her that I felt my review was unfair and needed to probably transfer. There would be support from her if there was an opening.

The meeting


While we were talking I asked her why I wasn’t considered for the buyer job. She told me that they thought I was a better manager and that’s where my strengths were. “They?” meant my RMM and her. For some reason my heart sank and knew I had to leave. I was pissed and relieved at the same time. This gave me my out. “My path isn’t being a department manager” I said. “Well maybe in five years or so another buy job will open up”, She said. But you said I’d be a better manager?

I reminded her of all the times I was buyer of the month and nominated for Anniversary cup. The many brands I turned into Nordstrom staple items that drove way more volume than the fashion items. Of course the Fashion items are more fun but volume and Profit is also important, or so I thought. Turning around Kid’s shoes in Arden, BP shoes in Arden and the Palo Alto store and having the best year on record there. Valley Fair was going through a remodel? That wasn’t my choice but my problem to solve. I was confident as soon as the Mall was back to normal we would kill it. But back to my issue. Burn out…

My time with Nordstrom is done


After a few rounds of back and forth we somehow got to a severance deal. Can’t remember how it was brought up but it was fair so I took it. If my numbers were good there may have been a different path but unfortunately I was going through a remodel. I wanted to see how the store ended up and knew it would bring amazing business too. I was done though. It was like the feeling of being cheated on. You have a hard time trusting after that happens. My conversation with the GM was mostly positive and we left on good terms. We genuinely liked each other but it was a tough scenario to figure out.  Bottom line was I needed to move on. My time with Nordstrom is done.

So this part was figured out. Part two would be do I move forward with the Target plan or do a last minute turn to Zappos. It became a pretty heated argument at home so I decided to stay the course with the Target plan. Guess I’ll have to learn to like the red shirt thing just like my Honda. Compromise…


Maybe I could get a red Polo dress shirt and it would be a little better? Good thing was I had a severance package deal and was going to start Target right away so it would be like a bonus of sorts. An odd feeling of relief overtook me the next day but at the same time a bit of sadness. I would have to make a ton of phone calls to my favorite reps and say good by to all my Nordstrom friends as well.

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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This post has 2 comments

21 Feb 2021

Strange how adversary can become the best for your career…Good Post Mike…

28 Feb 2021

Thanks, it’s always hard to figure this out when it’s happening but sure are good life lessons


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