Seattle Nordstrom (Photo: Prayitno0

We got a bit of a chuckle after Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. slammed the iPad for U.S. job losses, with the Illinois Congressman arguing for the defense of the paper industry. Now, here’s another cause Jackson Jr. can take on: Nordstrom piano players.

The L.A. Times reports that the Seattle retailer has been eliminating in-store piano players at stores in Orange County, replaced by recorded music which is apparently more pleasant to the ears of its customers. Reporter David Ng wrote that the live piano music provided “a modest touch of class in a world of soulless muzak.”

But the Nordstrom piano player may be going the way of the printed textbook.

The trend has been going on for some time, with The Seattle Times reporting on the cutting of piano players at stores in the Seattle area in 2007.

The Nordstrom piano player is a bit of a retail tradition in these parts, especially at the company’s flagship store in downtown Seattle.

While we disagreed with Jesse Jackson Jr.’s desire to preserve the printed publishing industry, in-store piano players are a different matter altogether.

[Via NPR]

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Guest

    I have informed Nordstrom that pre-recorded pianists are not acceptable. The quality and emotion evoked by a live player is simply without compare. I speak for all my fellow customers when I say I can think of no better accompaniment to my shopping experience.

  • paulbalcerak

    For what it’s worth, Nordstrom assured us (KIRO 7) last week that the Seattle-area stores would be keeping their live piano players for at least the foreseeable future:

    • johnhcook

      Thanks for the update!

  • Anonymous

    Save the

  • Anonymous

    I agree! Down with robot pianists! The real pianists lend a special flavor – especially around the holidays.

    I find this sentence from the linked Times article highly specious: “… as stores began playing commercially recorded music overhead, … ‘customers responded really well to it,’ she said.”

    Really? Sounds like marketing spin if I ever heard it. I cannot imagine customers spontaneously telling the Nordies staff “Is this new piped in music? I love it! So much better than that stupid piano player”.

    Well – OK, maybe in The Rack if the latest from Justin Beeber comes on – but for us old regular nordies shoppers please hold the Beebs and bring back the classy piano players.

  • Locovel

    we play what you want!

    givin the soul the trick it needs
    stickin’ tha suckaz to the Ross Dept. Weeds!

Job Listings on GeekWork