Okay, so it's a big national department store chain. But examples of how Nordstrom has improved our lives are legion. Consider the plight of the City Pages staffer whose father absolutely had to have a size ten pair of Teva sandals for Christmas. What with a 40-below wind-chill whipping through the megamall's cavernous parking ramps, nary a retailer was offering sandals last December. Nordstrom, a Seattle-based department store chain with a reputation for concierge-level service, didn't have anything on display either, but a chipper staffer asked us to wait just one minute while he checked the back room. And voilà, he turned up one last pair of sturdy blue flip-flops with red scorpions on the straps--"just tucked away in case someone needed them in the off-season." Nordstrom also boasts that it carries one of the broadest merchandise selections around; they have everything from shoes that would fit Michael Jordan to prosthetic breasts (and bras to tote them around in). There are a few places in life where "you get what you pay for" should be taken as gospel, and this is one of them.


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