On Tuesday, the Dallas-based Neiman’s said third-quarter profits rose 13 percent to $70.8 million from $62.6 million a year earlier. Neiman’s revenues for the three months ended April 27 rose 3.8 percent to $1.1 billion from $1.06 billion. Comparable sales increased 3.6 percent.
Those numbers — and the fact that there were several strong performing categories last quarter, notably women shoes, designer handbags, beauty and men’s wear — put Neiman’s in a positive light. But women’s apparel, which has been up and down at the retailer for several seasons, was not cited as a winner. Weather and moderate consumer demand could have impacted some merchandise areas. Tax breaks for the wealthy being rescinded and a potential stock market correction could also factor into Neiman’s performance.
During a conference call, executives emphasized advancements in technology, omnichannel initiatives, remodels and business overseas, though there was no word on the company’s future as it pertains to ownership. TPG and Warburg Pincus bought the company for $5.1 billion in 2005. Sources said investors are working with Credit Suisse to explore a sale or an initial public offering.
“We continue to benefit from the technology investments we have made, specifically the smartphones we rolled out to our sales associates,” said James E. Skinner, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, during the call. “For example, during the quarter we launched an application for our sales associates to help them track the status of their customer’s alterations. This tool provide our associates yet another way to help keep our customers updated and improve their overall shopping experience.”
Skinner cited other advancements on the service and technology fronts, including:
• The launch of a look book application for smartphones to help associates fulfill customer requests in the stores.
• Sending electronic receipts via e-mail.
• Online tools that help customers determine their best size and fit, and help men with putting together shirts and ties to complete the look.
• Sharing inventory between channels. “We’ve begun to add access to online-only merchandise through our point-of-sale in our stores for categories such as ladies shoes and designer handbags, providing our customers an even greater variety of merchandise as they shop at our stores,” Skinner said.
“In addition, at Bergdorf Goodman, we have expanded our shared inventory merchandise categories to include designer jewelry. The amount of sales that are attributable to shared inventory continue to grow and has proven to be a very successful project.”
Updating business overseas, Skinner said through its partnership with Borderfree, which was formerly called FiftyOne Global Ecommerce, neimanmarcus.com ships to customers in over 100 countries. “We are very pleased with the amount of business we’re generating, all without any incremental advertising or marketing, which speaks to the strength of our brand,” Skinner said.
In China, Neiman’s has modified its business model, since launching neimanmarcus.com in that country by fulfilling all customer orders from its U.S. inventory and shipping directly to customers in China rather than holding inventory in Chinese warehouses. Neiman’s believes this will provide a wider breadth of assortment in a timely fashion for Chinese customers. Neiman’s maintains a team for customer care, marketing and Web merchandising in Shanghai but recently reduced its size.
In March 2012, Neiman’s disclosed a $28 million investment in Glamour Sales Holdings, an Asian-based e-commerce site specializing in flash sales. Neiman’s has since invested another $10 million in Glamour and now owns a 44 percent stake. Glamour helped Neiman’s launch neimanmarcus.com.cn last December and is helping migrate shoppers to the Neiman’s site.
Skinner also highlighted the remodel of Neiman’s Michigan Avenue store in Chicago, where the men’s department and most of designer jewelry has been redone, and work is currently being done in cosmetics, ladies’ shoes, and contemporary sportswear. The store is expected to be completely remodeled by spring 2014.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye