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Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN)

Annual Shareholder Meeting

May 09, 2012 2:00 pm ET

Executives

Unknown Executive -

Enrique Hernandez - Non-Executive Chairman, Member of Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee and Member of Compensation Committee

Unknown Executive

We like that example for a lot of reasons. One -- from my new one, it's an example of folks at our company in different divisions coming together to take care of our customer. We had someone in our store and someone in our Direct division, sitting in Cedar Rapids, not hung up on whose customer is this, what division do I work in, all the internal issues that can sometimes be barriers to taking care of the customer, they thought about the customer. We're fortunate to have one of the heroes of that. Jeff? Jeff, just stand up here. Jeff is with us this morning. So Jeff Johnson [ph] works with us in Cedar Rapids, where we have our fulfillment center for our Direct division, as well as our call center, and he's one of our old stars there at the call center. So Jeff, thanks for coming all the way out here and thanks for what you do.

But I also want to share a letter with you, so bear with me, but this is a good one. This was sent to our store manager in West Hartford, Connecticut. It says, "On March 17, 2012, I was shopping on Nordstrom Westfarms. I was so impressed with the customer service, but I was so much more impressed with what happened about 6 hours later. In the midst of rushing, I left my entire Nordstrom purchases on the ground in the parking lot. I didn't realize I left my purchases on the ground. And once I realized that my purchases were lost, I was heartbroken. A short time later, I received a call that came up on my phone caller ID, which I didn't recognize, so I didn't answer it. Again, the number came up, and I didn't answer it again. After the third time, I answered the phone shouting, "I'm at JFK, and I will call you back," because I thought it was my husband playing around with his new phone. It was about 45 minutes before we were boarding, and I got a page from TSA. It was someone from your store who found my bag and traveled from Farmington, Connecticut to JFK Airport. I was so, so impressed with the customer service. I asked the gentlemen his name. He stated his name was Richard Dunbar [ph]. I asked him, "Do you work in Nordstrom?" And he said, "Yes, I work in housekeeping." And then he asked me if I have a Nordstrom card. I smiled and stated to him that, "You are trained very well." I offered to pay for his gas, and he said, "No," he stated, "just visit the store again." So I just want to thank -- I want you to think Richard Dunbar again for me. He saved me more than $800 of my purchases. If your housekeeping team provides that type of experience, then I am very proud of what you have accomplished." Signed, "A Nordstrom customer for life."

We have a lot of letters. That's a good one. And it really kind of goes to the core. It's the -- here's someone who could very easily define their job as being a housekeeping person in the traditional way, but Richard doesn't look at his job that way. He looks at his job as -- we certainly work to have all our folks do, is my job is to make this a good place for customers. And he had this opportunity to make a big impression. And he found these purchases in the parking lot, and there was the -- the flight information was in the bag, as well as the phone number. So he saw what time the flight was leaving, knew there wasn't time enough. So he immediately got in his car and was calling this number and, as you can tell, was being hung up on. And so since this -- that didn't work, somehow he got TSA to page the customer and let her know that he was on the way with the purchase.

So that's -- that type of motivated accountability, feeling an empowerment to take care of the customers, is what we work on a lot. As Blake said, we don't nail it all the time, by any means, but we're fortunate to have some really terrific people in this company who care a lot about this place, care a lot about their customers, and are making a huge difference for us.

Thank you very much.

Unknown Executive

Now at this point in the meeting, we'd like to open it up for any questions that you might have. And I think we have some folks with microphones, so if you could stand up and just give us your question, we'll do our best to respond. So we got one, to my right.

Question-and-Answer Session

Unknown Shareholder

I have a comment. I think you should return to the practice when somebody buys a $100 gift card, I'm giving him an option of whether to have it in a box or in an envelope. First impressions are important. If you give it to somebody in a box, they know they're getting a gift, and you see the smiles and all that. If you give it to them in an envelope, they think they're getting a greeting card, and they don't get any reaction 'till they open it.

Unknown Executive

Yes, good point. Thank you very much. So that's something we can definitely get after. What else? Yes, sir, there's a microphone coming.

Unknown Shareholder

I know you've talked about this from time to time, regarding the way your suppliers treat their employees, particularly with over at Jay's Companies. And sort of what monitoring do you do as a corporation versus just trusting that your suppliers are doing the right thing?

Unknown Executive

That's a really good, good question, and it's something that we work hard on and worry about. Because if you think about, reputationally, what could hurt this company, and I would think of it as what if we were on 60 Minutes and something like what you're describing went afoul and you're looking in front of a hundred million people, how would you explain that? And because you're accountable. And no, we're not manufacturers, we partner, and work very closely with our agents and with the manufacturers. And one of the challenges, too, is for those companies that are doing component work. So you might be working with manufacturer x but someone else is attaching the zipper. There's lots of hands and lots of people involved. You hold us to a high standard in terms of ethics and integrity and fairness. And though there are different standards that we may feel is appropriate in this country, it is important that the common thread is that people are being dealt with, with courtesy and respect and have appropriate work conditions. And so we worked very, very hard on that. We're very proud of our program. We haven't had any incidents to speak of. I think if something were to arise, I think we would be able to look you in the eye and say reasonably, "These are all the extra steps we've taken to ensure that doesn't occur." But it is something that we work very hard on.

All right. Brooke White, that helps us on these, she said, "You've got to have more slides. You've got to have more charts." And so I guess, you were right, Brooke. Those slides and charts answered all their questions.

I think, at this point -- well, I would just reiterate, we're not a Facebook company, and many of the you in this room I know and you're not shy, so whether it's a phone call or letter or e-mail or what have you, we do our best to respond to everything. And again, we appreciate your support as shareholders.

So with that, I'd like to welcome our Chairman back up to conclude the meeting.

Enrique Hernandez

I don't have much to say other than thank you all for attending the meeting. We're now adjourned. Have a great day.

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