Can a financially stable, digitally-enabled Neiman Marcus make a comeback?
Is Neiman Marcus ready to make its long promised comeback?
The luxury retailer, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September, is expressing confidence in improving its prospects as it has wiped away the debt load that weighed it down for the past 15 years, begun making strategic investments in digital technology companies and swung open the doors to its namesake department stores, Last Call off-price concept, Bergdorf Goodman and Horchow locations.
“Over the past year, we’ve been strengthening the foundation of our business. We knew the rebound was coming, and we’ve been experiencing the return of luxury as it accelerates,” Geoffroy van Raemdonck, chief executive officer, Neiman Marcus Group (NMG), said in a statement.
Mr. van Raemdonck pointed to a dramatically improved balance sheet as finally putting the retailer in a position to invest in its own business. Neiman Marcus was forced to abandon stores last year, including its much heralded Hudson Yards location in New York, as its financial position went from bad to worse with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly nine months into its post-bankruptcy era, Neiman Marcus has cut its debt load from $5.1 billion to $1.1 billion. It also has over $850 million in available liquidity compared to $132 million a year ago.
The department store retailer reported that same-store sales from February through April were relatively in line with its performance during the same period in 2019. This put it ahead of its own internal forecast.
Neiman Marcus is actively seeking to make strategic investments in areas such as store renovations and digital technologies all in an effort to better serve the needs of its core older customers and, at the same time, attract younger affluents.
The company announced yesterday that it has reached a deal to acquire Stylyze, Inc., a machine learning SaaS platform that makes fashion merchandise recommendations based on past purchases and browsing activity of individual shoppers.
Stylyze has been working with Neiman Marcus since 2018 as a component of its CONNECT remote clienteling tool that enables sales associates to interact with customers online. Over five million customer engagements and hundreds of thousands of orders have been placed since its launch.
Neiman Marcus, with 35 percent of total sales made online, plans to further integrate Stylyze’s technology into other areas as it seeks to create a seamless shopping experience for its customers.
- Neiman Marcus Group Accelerates Digital Capabilities with Intended Acquisition of Stylyze – Neiman Marcus Group
- Neiman Marcus begins its new life outside of bankruptcy – RetailWire
- Neiman Marcus launches digital hub to bring the in-store experience online – RetailWire
- Will in-store clienteling aid Neiman Marcus’ digital push? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Neiman Marcus Group on the right financial and strategic path to establish consumer relevancy and achieve sustainable success? What do you see as opportunities and hurdles for NMG in the short- and medium-term?