We were raised selling shoes, which is a humble occupation. You're down on your hands and knees, waiting on customers, which I find an appropriate position for our level of service.
Humility is a modest view of one's own importance.
Despite their success, the Nordstroms have never had an inflated opinion of themselves. Through four generations they continue to project a public image of disarming, small‐town modesty that might strike the casual observer as disingenuous. They say that there is nothing special or magical or difficult about what they do and that the system is embarrassingly simple. “We outservice, not outsmart,” is a typical Nordstromism.
“Our success is simply a matter of service, selection, fair pricing, hard work, and plain luck,” said Elmer. “As the owners, we felt that we should work harder than anyone else. If we didn't, our lackadaisical attitude would spread to the next level, and the next level on down until everyone was taking it easy.”
In 1968, Elmer's son John N. told the New York Times, “We don't know anything the other guys don't know, and we don't have any secrets. All publicity does is give us a swelled head, and we can always do better. The salespeople are the real stars.”
John N.'s brother Jim once conceded to the trade publication Footwear News that, “Many people think that we Nordstroms are secretive, because we don't ...