Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I met Jennifer about three years ago……. Instantly we became friends. Recently some very special events have occurred in her life. I wish to send her the biggest CONGRATULATIONS I can………………AND………… wish her all the success in the world.

Most of you know that the Nordstrom Department Store chain has been a big part of my life for over 40 years!!!! In the 1960’s they were a shoe kiosk in the Best Department Store that opened in the new Tacoma Mall. Yes, Nordstrom, was originally a local Seattle shoe store. Over the years they purchased the Best stores and grew to be a leading department store known for their outstanding customer service.

After we left the Tacoma area I didn’t have a chance to visit many Nordstrom stores until one opened ten years ago in the MacArthur Center in Norfolk. Wow… was that a day! Norfolk had a Nordstrom. I was in heaven…………..

The first store Manager was a very handsome young man who certainly lived up to the practice of “customer service”……….. It is important to note here that I have never spent a LOT of money in the store………… but……..they do have GREAT SALES……… I was a mall walker and would park my car at one of the entrances to the Nordstrom store. ( I always figured it was the nicest way to start my walks, the store was beautiful and the associates extremely friendly). I walked through the store, chit chatted with the associates, and entered the mall to start my “walk”. One day the Manager spotted me and suggested that they would gladly keep my purse, coat and whatever in their office while I walked. (That way I didn’t have to worry about them in the car.) I hesitated, but he insisted………… So the routine began……….. Every day, I parked, entered the store, and went immediately to Customer Service, where I would leave my things. Over the years, managers were promoted and new ones came. They all continued the practice.

Then…one Spring day, Jennifer appeared!! She literally chased me down and said: “Mrs. Day, I am Jennifer Strugala, the new store Manager. I want to personally introduce myself and let you know I will do anything to make you happy in our store!!!!!!! I have heard we hold you personal items while you walk. I will certainly continue that during my time here… plus, please let me know any other way I can be of help to you here at our Nordstrom store.” She was so excited and happy about her new position …. so eager to make this the best Nordstrom in the country.

Jennifer was barely 30 and already a success and going further. Her heart and soul were in the store. Retail stores have their Special Events on weekends……………Jennifer’s day off was Sunday. She was so committed to her “people” that she made sure she was there, on her days off, for them. Needless to say, Jennifer rarely had a day off. I don’t know many who give up their personal time to be available if needed!

Jennifer grew up in a Traditional Italian family in New Jersey. Her parents traveled to Norfolk and helped her move into her new apartment and get settled. Her dad had to be reassured that his little girl was happy and in a safe environment. It was hard for her to be so far from them and she was TERRIBLY homesick. Whenever I saw her, we talked about them and the next time they would be together. It was refreshing to see a young woman who treasured her parents’ approval and suggestions.

When the store held it’s two largest events, one in the Spring and the other in early December, Jennifer made a point to make them special for Emil and Smitty (the husband of a dear friend). These “events” occur on Sunday evenings after store hours. Food and drinks are served and there are special “events” in the different departments. Jennifer made a point to have two very comfortable chairs set aside for the “two guys” and she personally served them drinks, food, and had, on hand, recent editions of magazines and the local newspaper. They loved it……NOW THAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE…….. And Jennifer had it down pat!

She has kept up with me through e-mails this past year. In January I received the one with the news I was waiting to hear. She had been …….PROMOTED………AND …..to make it even better to the Nordstrom in Cherry Hill……….. NEW JERSEY !!!!!!!! I just found out that it is a NEW store and will have its Grand Opening Friday, March 27th.

I know that she is so happy to be near her parents and I couldn’t be happier for her. If any one of you are ever in the Cherry Hill Mall, please pop in to the Nordstrom store and say “Hi” to Jennifer. She will make you feel extremely welcome and you will have a special day.



Monday, March 9, 2009

Claire is a winner

Claire did it again......

She was the 2000 hit on the blog......
Thank you, Claire, for all your support

Aunt Patty