This Is The Nation's "Favorite Fashion Retailer" — Is It Yours?

Photo: Emily Harris/ Bloomberg News/Getty Images.
Nordstrom has managed to accrue (and maintain) a loyal fan base for a number of reasons — for serving up street style-worthy, budget-friendly fashion, for championing beloved indie brands, for that famous customer service, and, of course, for its epic anniversary sale. Its popularity is downright universal, earning it the "favorite fashion retailer" moniker (yet again). The department store scored the top honor in the latest ranking of fashion retailers by research firm Market Force Information.

In December, Market Force surveyed over 5,700 consumers to determine what brands truly deliver in terms of retail experience, as well as what services keep customers coming back, WWD reports. The study honed in on seven specific areas of that could affect a shopper's experience: "merchandise selection, value, store atmosphere, ability to create an outfit, checkout speed, ease of finding items, and size selection." In an average of overall satisfaction ratings (which Market Force calls a "Composite Loyalty Score"), Nordstrom scored the highest, with 58%. Marshalls came in second with 53% — a jump from last year's ranking, in which the discount retailer placed seventh. H&M also made another big leap, from not making the list at all in 2015 to rounding out the top three with a score of 51% (tied with Ross Dress For Less).

This is the fourth consecutive year that Nordstrom has topped Market Force's list. Its 2016 Composite Loyalty Score, however, represents an 8% drop from where it was last year. Where the Seattle-based retailer truly shines is with its sales associates: The study found that Nordstrom's in-store personnel attended to customers the most often, and also received the highest satisfaction rating from them. Additionally, it ranked highly in terms of its atmosphere, size range, and checkout experience.

Despite an increase in online shopping (and hybrid brick-and-mortar-meets-e-comm behavior), the in-store experience still matters to consumers. "Sales-associate attentiveness is a key area where brands can differentiate in this competitive space and deliver better experiences that result in higher conversion rates and basket size," Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer for Market Force, told WWD of this year's findings. She explained that while 40% of people who responded to the survey indicated the importance of this interaction for the overall shopping experience, less than half of consumers reported to have "engaged with sales associates" in the store.

As far as industry surveys go, Nordstrom has a pretty good streak going. GoBankingRates deemed its basically nonexistent return policy the best in the retail biz back in December. The retailer also ranked on StellaService's list of companies with the best customer service — at No. 18, the second highest department store in the mix.