By  on June 14, 2011

Neiman Marcus Inc. has hired John E. Koryl as president of its $715 million Neiman Marcus Direct division, in a move to accelerate its online business, take a more analytical approach and strengthen cyber connections with customers.

Koryl will join the Dallas-based multichannel luxury retailer on Monday, and succeed Neiman’s veteran Gerald Barnes, who becomes executive vice president and chief merchant of Neiman Marcus Direct, WWD has learned.

Koryl, 40, was senior vice president of e-commerce marketing and analytics at Williams-Sonoma Inc., responsible for catalogue and e-mail modeling, e-marketing, site conversion optimization and consumer insights. Prior to Williams-Sonoma, Koryl was senior director of marketing solutions at eBay. Earlier, he worked at UmbrellaBank, Creditland.com and Accenture.

“John Koryl is the perfect choice for us to lead Neiman Marcus Direct,” said Karen Katz, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Inc. “John has exactly the type of background we are looking for to optimize the growth of our online business. His focus on technology, Web analytics and the future state of online shopping will blend perfectly with our highly skilled online merchandising team.”

Neiman Marcus Direct, with more than 1,500 employees, operates neimanmarcus.com, bergdorfgoodman.com, lastcall.com, cusp.com and horchow.com. The division also produces more than 80 catalogues annually for the Neiman Marcus and Horchow brands, including the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.

Katz, who became Neiman’s ceo in October and has made other executive changes, last month told WWD, “As we come out of the recession, and with the change in leadership we’ve had at Neiman Marcus, it’s definitely one of the priorities of our new team to have a higher investment in technology.”

She also said Neiman’s is boosting capital expenditures to capture greater e-commerce sales and strengthen communications with customers via “fashion insider” blogs and e-mail tips, the company’s Web sites, Facebook and other social media. In February, the NMDaily blog was launched providing “fashion insider” information, similar to Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth and 58th blog. According to Katz, when Neiman’s puts “fashion insider” stories and tips online, such as behind-the-scenes videos of fashion shows or interviews with designers or stylists, the company sees a spike in page views.

In other steps to bolster sales online, Neiman’s is expanding its Pinnacle Park, Tex., distribution center by 200,000 square feet and expects to increase the frequency of midday “dash” flash sales.

Industrywide, Internet sales are growing faster than other channels, and at NMG, they accounted for 15.6 percent of overall sales last year.

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