Nordstrom Builds Database Through Survey in Card Mailings

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Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, is seeking to augment the information in its cardholder database through the use of a mail-back survey it is enclosing with new credit cards it began mailing this month to its five million cardholder households.

The upscale retailer is asking cardholders to provide information about how they feel about shopping, how much they spend on clothing, shoes and accessories, how sensitive they are to pricing, what Nordstrom departments they usually shop in and other information. Nordstrom is using the data it collects to help it refine its direct mail efforts as it implements a new marketing strategy focused on building its brand. The company is seeking to mail out fewer -- but better targeted -- direct mail pieces this year, according to Brooke White, a spokeswoman for the 106-store chain.

Nordstrom earlier this month last week introduced a set of new retail credit cards that allow shoppers to earn rewards points that can be redeemed for Nordstrom gift certificates. The company is offering 1,000 points -- half the amount needed to earn a $20 gift certificate -- to anyone who completes the survey.

White also said the company was not planning any customer-acquisition mailings for the new cards at first, except in markets where Nordstrom opens new stores. Current mailings, to be completed by May 31, are to existing Nordstrom credit customers only.

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