Neiman Marcus Rethinks Its Retail

Following a tough few months of store closures and the overall strain of the downwards trend of department stores, Neiman Marcus is advertising a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. The retail giant closed its shiny new Hudson Yards store along with three other locations in Washington and Florida in efforts to reorganize amidst bankruptcy. Its parent company Retailwinds claimed total revenue dropped over 7% in 2019, a warning sign of looming bankruptcies. The New York location was quite a modern space - it felt very contemporary, had tech touchpoints, and was part of a range of newly developed retail spaces next to the Vessel, Manhattan’s newest tourist attraction. The future of Hudson Yards will be interesting, as other retailers seem to have relative success in the shopping center. Claims that the space will turn into offices and potential restaurants seem to be the up and coming use of space.
The store closures coincide with the closure of a number of Neiman Marcus’ ‘Last Call’ outlet locations as the company focuses on a digital and curbside-pickup model. Under the same company as Bergdorf Goodman, NM also seeks to focus their efforts on loyal customers of both retailers through digital selling. As large scale department stores struggle with the selling model of wholesale merchandise margins, excess product, and maintaining customer relationships through luxury service, it’s truly a challenging playbook.
In an effort to upkeep the high-end experience Neiman Marcus seeks to deliver, they’ve recently released a number of marketing campaigns and business strategies through their social media channels. In late June, the Neiman Marcus instagram featured a post explaining their future plans. The titlecard of the post reads “Your Neiman’s,” and explains an immediate future in which shoppers can explore innovative shopping experiences. This includes private in-store appointments with a style advisor, curbside pick-up via online orders, digital styling through the Neiman Marcus website, digital fashion parties, and more. To me, these all seem like great ways to maintain relationships with valuable customers. In today’s saturated retail climate, struggling businesses should do just that, while scaling back overhead costs like underperforming retail locations.
By Adi Shoham