Neiman Marcus Put Its Digital Business First — And It’s Paying Off Big-Time

Neiman Marcus is clawing its way out.

After multiple quarters of sluggishness, the luxury-goods seller on Tuesday announced its first comparable sales gain since 2015, thanks to a new “digital first” strategy whereby the company has put significant investment behind omnichannel sales and implementation of new technologies.

Neiman Marcus noted that its first-quarter comparable sales climbed 4.2 percent, while overall sales increased 3.8 percent, to $1.12 billion.

Still, the company widened its net losses to $26.2 million, compared with losses of $23.5 million for the same period last year, as it continues to recover from previously challenging quarters.

Nevertheless, president, CEO and director Karen Katz said the firm’s digital focus is powering Neiman Marcus in the right direction.

As we head further into the second quarter, our momentum continues to build,” Katz told investors during a Tuesday conference call. “We remain focused on driving our day-to-day business, while also successfully advancing our ‘Digital First’ strategy … We are deploying new software tools to deepen engagement on offering enhanced shopping experiences. We’re in the early phases of testing several unique programs and exclusive online-only services, including one round stylist and concierge services.

Katz also announced during the call that John Koryl, president of Neiman Marcus stores and online services, will depart the company as of Nov. 30. With his departure, Neva Hall, EVP of Neiman Marcus stores, and Wendy Rowlandson, the SVP of Neiman Marcus online, will report directly to Katz.

During the next five weeks, our entire team will be intensely focused on the holiday season, a very important time for our business,” Katz said. “We have developed a strong holiday strategy in terms of both marketing and merchandising. We will be presenting a series of compelling and highly personalized offers for the season, designed specifically to take advantage of holiday shopping traffic. We have defined our digital marketing strategy to ensure that we are present in key shopping channels for the holiday, maximizing traffic and conversion for our online businesses.

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