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When you want to browse hundreds of shoes from your desktop (you know the feeling, it's 1:00pm and you lunched way to hard today to work), you go to old faithfuls: Department stores. But even when you want to binge on shoe porn and maybe even make a purchase or four, how do you choose where to shop? Who speaks to your particular footwear flavor?
To narrow the limitless options (and to instigate a little friendly competition in honor of Shoe Week 2013) we took to the sites of the big names—Barneys, Macy's, Bergdorf's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Saks—to determine how they stack up based on objective criteria available on each site. Decide who your winner is below.
Number of styles
Bergdorf: Not available on site
Most expensive shoe
Barneys: Christian Louboutin's Croc Simple Pump, $4,645
Bergdorf: Tom Ford Strappy Buckled Sandal Boot, $3,690
Saks: Giuseppe Zanotti's Curved-Wedge Platform Ankle Boots, $3,150
Nordstrom: Jimmy Choo, 'Kendall' Crystal Pump, $2,995
Bloomingdale's: Giuseppe Zanotti's Platform Wedge Sandals, $1,695
Macy's: Frye Debra Star Tall Boot, $648
Least expensive shoe
Macy's: Roxy Tahiti IV Thong Sandals, $16
Nordstrom: Havaianas Flip-flop, $26
Bloomingdale's: Havaianas Flip-Flop, $26
Saks: UGG's Mosaic Flare II Flips Flops, $40
Barneys: F-Troupe's Rubber Lace-Up, $45
Bergdorf: Tom's Gurley Stripe Sequin Slip On, $71
Highest Heel Height
Saks: Brian Atwood Alesha 'Monster', 6.75 inches
Bloomingdale's: Giuseppe Zanotti's Peep Toe Platform Pumps, 6.5 inches
Bergdorf: Brian Atwood's Alesha, 6.5 inches
Barneys: Louboutin's Shameless, 6.25 inches
Macy's: Truth or Dare by Madonna Cassildee Platform Pumps, 6 inches
Nordstrom: Charlotte Olympia's Kitty Wedge, 6 inches
Number of Clicks It Takes to Get From the Homepage to the Credit Card Info For Each Department Store's Top Selling Brand:
Bloomingdale's: 11 clicks
Barneys: 14 clicks
Macy's: 13 clicks
Saks: 15 clicks. Top sellers are not on the landing page.
Nordstrom: 16 clicks. Requires user to create a profile with password before checkout
Bergdorf: 18 clicks. There was no auto-fill for information which upped the clickage. And sidenote, several of the Manolos we tried to purchase were no longer in stock, which we only found out at we clicked to enter our information.
Nordstrom: Free standard shipping in 3 to 6 business days
Barneys: Free ground shipping in 7 to 10 days
Saks: $5 for purchases under $25, same deal as Bergdorf's
Bergdorf's: $6 for $25 and under purchases. The more you spend the more you pay for shipping
Bloomingdale's: $6 for purchase under $25, and rates go up as purchase amount goes up.
Macy's: $9.95 for standard shipping in 1 to 5 business days, free for orders over $100
Returns & Exchanges
Nordstrom: No date specified, and a customer service representative told us you can return an item with tags and a receipt "whenever you would like"
Macy's: Returns and exchanges can be made at any time after purchase
Bloomingdale's: There is no time limit to returns, but some exceptions do apply
Bergdorf's: 60 days from receipt of merch for both returns and exchanges
Saks: Up to 30 days for returns. After 30 days, full-priced merch can be exchanged for store credit and sale items are not accepted
Barneys: Within 30 days, $8.00 deducted from refund, no exchanges
Based on these results, Nordstrom is the clear "winner" with four top spots. But as any devoted shoe shopper knows, in some ways it's really the immeasurable aspects of a store—the point of view, the attention to detail—that really inspire loyalty. Take a look at some final stats and let us know your favorite in the comments.
Barneys: Louboutin, Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Rag & Bone
Bergdorf: Manolo Blahnik, Tory Burch
Nordstrom: Nike, UGGs
Saks: Tory Burch, Vince, Marc by Marc Jacobs
Macy's: Sperry, Lucky Brand, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Nine West
Bloomingdale's: Tory Burch (by a landslide), Salvatore Ferragamo
Recent Shoe/Style Personalities Featured or Interviewed:
Barneys, The Window: Manolo Blahnik, Susie Bubble
Bergdorf: Manolo Blahnik, Akris, and Stella McCartney
Nordstrom, The Thread: Salvatore Ferragamo, Giuseppe Zanotti
Saks, Saks POV: Tabitha Simmons, Alexandre Birman, Rebecca Minkoff
Macy's, MBlog: Steve Madden, Caprice Willard (Fashion Star season two)
Bloomingdale's, Never Enough Bloomingdale's: TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie at SXSW
Finish this sentence: "This shoe department is best if you're looking for ___."
Barneys: ...bank breakers and ankle breakers. Also, shoe porn.
Bergdorf: ...wedding season shoes.
Nordstrom: ...a wide variety of brands and a big price range.
Saks: ... designer heels to impress the in-laws.
Macy's: ...cheap thrills or to look like Madonna.
Bloomingdale's: ...a deal on everyday-living footwear.
· The 12 Best Places to Shop for Cute Shoes Size 10 and Up [Racked]
· All Shoe Week 2013 Coverage [Racked]