Stanley Marcus Dies at 96
January 23, 2002 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Stanley Marcus Dies at 96 We've all heard corporate propaganda about "customer service." He really practiced it. Neiman's has really been expanding their online shopping services. Can Web retailers in the 21st century learn anything from such old-skool customer service? (NYT password link obituary is here)
posted by sixdifferentways (9 comments total)
web retailers arent the only ones who could learn from Marcus. i think i could name stores who truly got it about customer service on one hand and still have a finger left for the rest.
posted by tsarfan at 11:32 AM on January 23, 2002

Neiman Marcus's customer service is excellent. A few Christmas's ago, I was looking for a gift for my girlfriend. I eventually found one in a magazine that said the product was available only through Neiman Marcus. It wasn't available through their online store and I don't have a Neiman Marcus within 2 hours of me. I eventually called their home store in Dallas and asked to speak with customer service. I gave them the name and description of the product I was looking for. The rep put me on hold and physically went to the shop floor and grabbed one for me. I had it within two days. They even paid for the shipping. By far the best customer service I've ever seen.
posted by ttrendel at 11:34 AM on January 23, 2002

Can't say that I will shed any tears over this guy. His relentless promotion of furs was completely sickening to me, and his company is well know for its cruelty towards animals:

Neiman Marcus: Fashion That Kills
Compassion over Killing (This website also has an interesting article on how several anti-fur Neiman Marcus shareholders were denied entry into tha annual stockholder's meeting)
Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade
Another anti-Neiman fur page (Geocities)
posted by thewittyname at 11:37 AM on January 23, 2002

Looks like your links all say the same thing there, thewittyname. Do they actually plagiarize each other?
NM isn't cruel to animals, they sell coats. Show some information where NM used furs from animals that were deliberately tortured or get over yourself.
Damn, but I think I'm going to go get myself a mink.
posted by hummus at 11:55 AM on January 23, 2002

Whoa, another thread held up at gunpoint by a zealot...
posted by alumshubby at 12:15 PM on January 23, 2002

Customer service is one of the most frustrating ordeals one must endure, from stupid phone-recorded messages to generic, mass e-mail responses. It's good to know people who value the customer above profit exist(ed?).

As far as furs are concerned, if Neiman Marcus didn't sell them, someone else would. I find it ironic about how a protester will enter a Neiman Marcus, spray-paint the furs with permanent grafitti, and think they have done a service to the animal kingdom....Result: Neiman Marcus orders more furs; distributor meets demand by slaughtering more animals to suffice supply.
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:11 PM on January 23, 2002

So you guys hate Wal-mart but love Neiman's, probably the most pretentious store around? Okay.
posted by owillis at 2:57 PM on January 23, 2002

i don't think neiman marcus is pretentious at all. i've been to the ones in dallas and the one in union square in san francisco and have always been treated very well, though i am not wealthy nor pretend to be when i'm in the stores. the staff is very courteous, helpful and mindful of your budget if you tell them what price range you're looking at. they also have fantastic "last call" sales with items marked down nearly 80%. i have never been given any attitude at neiman marcus. ever.

wal-mart, however, is consistently a miserable shopping experience and has questionable methods of doing business. at least it used to. i haven't kept up with them. i switched to target a long time ago.
posted by centrs at 4:01 PM on January 23, 2002

Heh. Ye who say that Neimans aren't pretentious have never seen the Houston Galleria location. I have an ex that worked there, and made the mistake of hanging around/shopping at that location on several occasions.

It's amazing how self-important some sales associates can be. I believe that sales is a form of business communication, and that people who facilitate the process from good to consumer have a gift, but a solid percentage of the people I've dealt with at this particular location are downright pedantic. I'm glad to see that this behavior isn't representative of NMs nationwide.
posted by one.louder.ash! at 1:13 AM on January 24, 2002

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