Neiman Marcus Unveils ‘Digital First’ Strategy Amid Narrowing Losses
Neiman Marcus managed to narrow its losses, with certain categories gaining traction, but the results reflect the retailer’s 10th straight quarter of declines. The retailer’s strengths, which were especially evident at its Bergdorf Goodman unit, continued into the first quarter, executives said, despite store closures during the hurricanes. The company closed its Houston store and two off-price Last Call stores for a week due to Hurricane Harvey, and seven Neiman Marcus stores and six Last Call stores for an average five days in Florida during Hurricane Irma, Katz said.
“Our business is improving despite … headwinds in the retail sector,” Katz told analysts in a conference call.
The retailer continues to trim its off-price portfolio — one of the best performing areas of retail — and will shutter another 10 stores to present “a more focused Last Call footprint and a more compelling experience in the off-price category,” Katz told analysts. She confirmed that the retailer has scaled back its presence at the Hudson Yards development on the West Side of Manhattan by 10% of what the company had originally projected.
The retailer’s scaling down of its off-price operations may reflect a move to underpin its reputation as a luxury department store, and its digital strategy could help that a lot, according to Chris Paradysz, CEO of PMX Agency.
“In today’s luxury market, those who are thriving are those that are connecting the social and online experience with the lifestyle experience of the brand,” Paradysz told Retail Dive in an email. “Digital is really an accelerator for luxury, but sometimes the ability to shift to digital has been a bit more stifled in this industry than others.”