The Importance of a Well Organized Department

Michael Normart
3 min readJan 1, 2021

My Journey in the Footwear Industry that lead me to Zappos #45

So, in Blog #44 I talked about the importance of a well run department. In this blog I want to talk about the importance of a well organized department.

We would start the day by taking all the shoes off the display tables, clean all the glass then reset the floor. Frank would typically direct people on how he wanted the floor set. Jeannie would also give input but Frank was the guy who usually initiated it.

He didn’t get anything extra out of it but he was good at it. We would get the displays done ASAP, so we could spend some time starting our stock assignment, which usually took 30 minutes. It usually involved running stock on some items we just got in or price changes. But it always changed every day.


Martha assigned the work bench to a guy named James. He made sure all the items were stocked at all times. We had foam pads, cork fillers, polish, heel slip pads, stretchers, bunion tools, vamp raisers and much more. James made sure we had everything we needed and would call out people that were wasteful.

Everyone was responsible for about 20 sections of shoes. You had to make sure all the sizes were in order and run properly and the top shoe flagged. If someone messed up your section in a stock assignment you would call them to fix it or you would have to before you left for the day.


Michael was one of very few people that was in management and a Nordstrom Pacesetter. You had to sell a certain amount for the year to be awarded that honor. He had a great following and every now and then would go up to the register at the right moment to get a “hand wrap”. Michael was amazing to watch and I learned some great selling techniques from him. He could read a customer better than anyone I ever saw.

Shoe of the day

Who ever opened would help pick the shoe of the day. That means you had to bring it out as one of your four pairs. Martha might have had a new style come in so we would pick that as the shoe or just a hot seller like the Cole Haan Dunbar. The Dunbar was my favorite. It was a woven flat with leather like butter. It fit everyone and ran about $200. Even if it wasn’t the shoe of the day I’d bring it out to everyone. Even if they were asking for an evening shoe. I’d say this is the best fitting shoe ever and I thought you might want to try it.

Marth paid attention to every little detail. The importance of a well organized department starts with the Manager/Buyer.. Even today I think of this as the gold standard. Martha was amazing…

Michael Normart

This is my story, from Shoe dog to Entrepreneur Here are my Sites: Doggy Daddy Site: Footwear Blog: