Morgan Perkins pitched his plan for a high-class shoeshine stand to the Nordstrom family in 1974, “when my wife was pregnant and I was trying to buy Pampers.”* They took a chance on him, and what began with a handshake has turned into a four-decade legacy. Over the years, Perkins has watched the fourth generation of Nordstrom leaders grow up (he remembers our present-day president, Blake Nordstrom, working hard even at age 10—stumbling around at 6:30am, arms piled high with shoe boxes); he’s helped open new shoeshine stands at Nordstrom stores in Washington, California and Minneapolis; he’s even ushered his extended family into the business; all while offering the best—and most affordable—shine in town.
This week, after nearly 40 years personifying the stellar service and humble demeanor Nordstrom has always stood for, Perkins and wife Patsy (whom he’s affectionately dubbed the brains of the operation) celebrated their well-deserved retirement. While you may have missed your chance to get your shoes serviced by the master himself, Perkins’ son Brent and daughter-in-law Sunny will carry on the family business at our Downtown Seattle Flagship—and today, thanks to the overwhelming success of Perkins’ idea all those years ago, over 3/4 of our stores have shine stands of their own. Call or visit a store near you to find out if you’re among the lucky majority.
For more: Visit our Downtown Seattle store’s Facebook Page (and scroll down to December 28, 2012) to read heartfelt memories and well-wishes from Mr. Perkins’ friends and colleagues.