(Chris So/Toronto Star/Getty)
#15: Karen McKibbin
President, Nordstrom Canada
Why she matters: Setting a new standard for customer service
Nordstrom’s arrival in Canada has forced retailers to up their game. Some are freshening up their merchandising, while others are expanding their footprints—Holt Renfrew will soon add 40,000 square feet to its Vancouver location. But what they’ll really need to work on is customer service. Karen McKibbin, who started at Nordstrom in 1985 as a stockperson, is steeped in the chain’s culture. With its virtually-no-questions-asked returns policy, staff who routinely go the extra mile and endearing amenities like monthly shoe-tying lessons for kids, Nordstrom knocks other retailers out of the park. McKibbin is bringing that same level of dedication here. The bar has been raised.