Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is Your Size Sold at Nordstrom?

As many of you may know, I'll often recommend checking out Nordstrom to those of us in the U.S. who are looking for bras outside of the very small range that is usually offered in most department stores. I've never seen Nordstrom carry 28 bands in store, but I've generally felt safe recommending them to those of us who might need 30 bands.

However, in my past several visits to Nordstrom, I've noticed that the selection of bras that they actually carry in 30 bands is rather small - smaller that it used to be. After my most recent visit to Nordstrom, the number of 30 bands was scarce enough that I, along with and at the urging of Sarah of StackDD, decided to email them to see if I could get an idea of where they stood in regards to stocking smaller bands (both 30's and 28's), and their reasoning behind their stance.

I basically noted in my email that "I find it difficult to ever find more than a choice or two for 30 bands at Nordstrom stores - for example, I was with a friend who needed a 30E (not a "strange" size at all), and I could not find her any options at Nordstrom. The assistant at my last visit excused this by saying that 'Whenever we have 30 bands, they sell out because they're so popular.' If smaller band sizes are so popular that your stores cannot seem to even keep them in stock, then why not make it a priority to stock more?"

In Sarah's case, her concerns were addressed more directly, but Nordstrom's first response back to me was a mostly canned one:

Dear Christine,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Our customers' opinions are very important to Nordstrom and greatly assist us with our continued efforts to provide the best merchandise and service to our customers.

I completely sympathize with you-I wear a 30F, which is difficult to find in the stores. Rest assured I will share your feedback, so that we may learn and improve. Should you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope the above information proves useful when shopping with Nordstrom in the future.

Regards,

Cory
Customer Service Specialist
Nordstrom

Not satisfied with this, I sent another email noting that they really hadn't addressed any of my concerns in their reply, and I rephrased my questions - mainly, why is it that Nordstrom doesn't stock any 28 bands and only a few 30 bands, especially when I've heard fitters say that small bands sell out quickly?

The second response was more enlightening:

Hello Christine,
Thank you for contacting Nordstrom. I am very sorry that you feel your concerns were not addressed. I have shared your comments and concerns with our corporate offices and buyers. I hope we are able to accommodate your request in the near future.
I apologize that we carry a limited selection of bras with a 30 band or under. I can understand your frustration about not being able to shop a large selection of bras in the stores and having to order them online. We work very diligently to offer a selection that balances customer demand and manufacturers selling requirements. In order to carry an item in the stores the manufacturer requests that we purchase a specific number of each size and we need to know that our customers have a need for these sizes. We have attempted to carry many bras in this size range in the past and it was met with limited success.
Again, I appreciate the fact that you took a moment of your time to share this with us. If there is anything else that we can help you with please do not hesitate to let us know.
Regards,
April
Customer Service Specialist
Nordstrom

So, it seems as though Nordstrom has attempted to stock more bras with 30-bands in the past (this seems to line up with my impression that I used to be able to find more 30-bands there several years ago), but there was simply not enough demand and/or sales of these bras, so they felt the need to cut back. Currently, the only bras that I've really been able to reliably find at Nordstrom stores in a 30 band have been the Freya Deco, and more recently, the Taylor and Ashlee (I've seen a few others, but these are the main ones). I've not seen every cup size offered in each of these bras, either.

I do realize that stores need to make sales, and thus they are motivated to only keep in stock what sells. I know I can't reasonably expect Nordstrom to carry every size under the sun - that would be impractical! I'm not even really concerned about pushing for them to stock 28 bands now (small steps, people). However, I've been told several times that the lack of availability of more 30 bands in their stores has been because "They're so popular and sell out quickly." If this is the case, then I wonder why Nordstrom doesn't make a better attempt to keep them stocked? From all the people I've talked to (online and otherwise) and from the results of The Bra Band Project so far, it seems like there's a big demand indeed for smaller bands in stores, even if it's just more 30 bands. Nordstrom is usually pretty good about being able to special order bras in, but this doesn't really help those of us who need to actually try on bras in stores to get a feel for what fits.

If you're below a 32 band - or you wear any size that Nordstrom doesn't currently carry or that's hard to find there - and would like to see more options in your band/cup size at Nordstrom, let them know about it! You can email Nordstrom at contact@nordstrom.com. If they're going to be motivated to stock more 30 bands, or more options at all, they need to know that there's a market for them. And, if Nordstrom does carry your size, you should consider buying from them. I know they can be expensive, but often the cost isn't really too much more than buying new bras online once you factor in shipping costs and the convenience.

What's your experience been with Nordstrom? Are you able to find your bra size there, or anywhere else?

16 comments:

  1. I'll try to head to Nordstroms on my next trip to the states. :)

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    1. As long as you're not expecting too much, since they don't stock 28 bands! :(

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  2. I know people love Nordstrom's, but I've never had a good fitting experience there. In my teens, my (busty) mom took me to both Nordstrom's in the city, and I repeatedly was fitted at a 32DD. And the only bras they gave me to try on were the blah, "nude", full cup, t-shirt bras. Wacoal was King, but I guess the company didn't go below a 32 back then. I never even go to try on an E cup, either.

    I can occasionally find something resembling my size (28GG, now, so 30G) at the Rack, but the last time I went to a regular Nordstrom's, they had four styles of 30s, all t-shirt bra style. When I asked for anything besides that, I was directed to the minimizers.

    The owner of my local specialty bra store actually went to Nordstrom's when she first opened, introducing herself. At first the saleslady was wary and territorial, and then the LBS owner stated the range she was going to carry: 28E-40K. Apparently the saleslady went "ohhhhhhh", looked chagrined and took her card, promising to pass customers on to the LBS. (And she has indeed gotten referrals from Nordstrom's!)

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    1. Honestly, I haven't had the greatest experience regarding fitting at Nordstrom either. When I first went in to try to get better sized (back several years ago), they put me in a 34DDD (rather than a the 36DD's I'd been wearing). Somewhat better fitting, but in reality I was a 30G, so they were way off in giving me my best size. Back then they also pushed me into buying bras that even I didn't feel fit that great because "It doesn't come in a 32... a 34 should work."

      Some people have had better experiences there, and they do carry some sizes that are pretty hard to find elsewhere in the U.S., but they also will rarely (in my experience) fit you into a band smaller than a 30. I'm a 28 band, and when I go in there to see if I can find any 30's to try on for a sister size, they try to push 32's on me. Generally, I recommend people have an idea of what their bra size might be and how bras should fit before they go there to get fitted or try on sizes.

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  3. I've found that they fit pretty accurately and there selection is pretty decent although I am not a 30 but a 34 band. I used to frequent Nordstroms more often as one of the few stores that actually carried my size when I was a 34FF. Now that I am a 34H (UK) I noticed that the selection is severely limited beyond GG. They carry many styles that go past GG but do not stock the GG+ sizes. Ugh, so frustrating.

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    1. I've noticed that they seem to do pretty well for a certain range (32+ bands and cups up to GG), but under 32 bands (and over maybe 38, I'd presume) and over GG cups there's much less choice, if any. Even though, like you said, they stock bra styles that are *made* in under-30 bands and over-GG cups! It's frustrating to *know* something comes in your size, but they don't carry that particular size in store, and in many cases the fitters don't know all the sizes that certain bras come in.

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  4. As I am going to Nordstrom's this Wednesday, I'm saddened to hear that they possibly won't fit my friend correctly or carry bras in my size. Looks like I might have to try out Intimacy after all!

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    1. Well, you really never know - I've also heard mixed reviews about Intimacy, so you really should have at least some bra-knowledge before going to either!

      I will note that I went to a Nordstrom again yesterday (middle of the day, beginning of the month, if that changes anything), and I did see several options in the 30E-F range - I was looking carefully this time for comparison. I believe they were mostly Freya and Cleo by Panache choices. So I wouldn't write it off just yet! As to fitting, it really depends on the particular fitter. You may get a great one, you may get one that's not as good.

      If I had to pick, I would choose Nordstrom for selection and pricing, and Intimacy for a fitting.

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    2. After my trial and error- as you know- I'm pretty sure I know my size now. But for my friend's sake, who has NO idea nor any idea where to start, I hope one of the places work! I'll let you know how it goes.

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    3. Great - I'm quite interested to know how you to get on (at either place)!

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  5. I've had good experiences at Nordstrom, but I am now kind of sizing myself out of stock. I was finding 32HH's (but only in a couple styles) in stock, and they would offer to order any that were manufactured but not in-store. I got to complain at the Freya/Fantasie during my last visit, as they had nothing over a GG! I have tried to find some 30HH and J's with little luck. The fitters are better than the selection. There are two Nordstrom stores near my St. Louis home, and I have found a great salesperson at both. It sounds silly, but I usually go for the most curvaceous and sassy sales gal. Only the older, hoity-toity sales people have tried to put me in a 36 band!

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    1. You know, you have a good point about picking a fitter (with curves and sass) - I think I've had the same sort of experience! How funny, but makes sense...
      (And yes, GG seems to be about the limit for most everything at Nordstrom, with a few exceptions...)

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    2. Just realized while re-reading that I left the word "rep" out of my comment! I got to complain to the Freya Brand Representative while in-store. They had only a couple Fantasies in H cups but at least 3 Panache styles in an HH - at least in a 32. The selection has honestly improved since I started shopping there regularly, but it doesn't seem to be displayed very often. I usually ask a fitter for all styles in my size range, and she will bring 5+ bras that were not on the rack.
      Another good thing about sassier fitters is they will usually divulge their own size. I trusted one fitter as soon as she told me, "I may not look it, but I'm a 28FF." Another one thought I said I'd been fitted by Nordstrom into DD (I said GG) and gave me this incredulous look like she'd fire the fitter that told me such nonsense; she new better as a 34GG.

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    3. knew better, not new better! I really need to start using preview...

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  6. My local Nordstrom doesn't even carry Panache, which is one of my favorite brands...so jealous of you other ladies who mentioned finding them there :( My experience with Nordstrom has been that their selection gets limited and they get a bit cranky about helping you find what you need as soon as you go over a DDD/E...and that's even in a 32-34 band. The Saks store where I live always has a much bigger selection of small band/large cup bras and their sales people are much more knowledgeable. They have even ordered bras for me from other stores when they didn't have what I was looking for and knew enough about their product to get the size right even though I couldn't try it on.

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  7. I went for a fitting at my local Nordstrom on June 29th. I needed to be fitted for my new Amoena silicone breast forms (size#8)The lingerie manager was very helpful and brought 5 or 6 Chantelle and Wacoal full-coverage bras for me to try on.She fastend and adjusted each one then helped me position my forms so they looked natural and even. After trying on the bras we both agreed that the Chantelle "Riv Gouche" size 40D was the best fit for me. Even though I went in planing on buying either a Chantelle "Amozne" or "Hedona" both which they don't carry,I was willing to make do with the "Riv Gouche", but she talked me into waiting for 2 weeks when the bra would be on sale at 30% off. I found this to really nice of her and I took her advice and waited to buy.

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