Here's the deal: At most mall retailers the salespeople treat the average shopper like an interruption and an annoyance. But at Nordstrom they not only try to find what you want and make sure that it fits (we dig their giant dressing rooms too), they'll go several extra miles to make you a loyal customer. We recently went on a shoe expedition. Dillard's and Foley's were hot as saunas. Neiman's never managed even a "May we help you?" so we trotted down to the competition. There, a sweet gal in the shoe department apologized for not carrying the brand and style we wanted, but she then made some calls and found us the store that did and made sure they had our size and would hold it for us. Whether you buy a lipstick or a chaise longue, you'll get a handwritten thank-you note from the Nordstrom employee who sold it to you. Amazing.