Neiman Marcus Group is rethinking its China strategy.
The company plans to downsize its team there and ship from its U.S. based inventories rather than holding inventory in Chinese warehouses.
“We still have a team there for customer care, marketing and the Web merchandising in Shanghai but it’s a smaller team,” said Neiman’s vice president of corporate communications Ginger Reeder. “It’s still a localized China site.”
Neiman’s has begun shipping to Chinese consumers from the U.S., instead of inventories that were sent from brands to China for distribution. From the U.S., “We can offer a wider breadth of assortment and the orders are more timely,” Reeder said.
“I think specific staff will be reduced by over half, but the workload of most — like buying — will shift back to Dallas,” she said. Neiman’s has about two dozen workers in China.
“We are committed to China. We believe we can serve Chinese luxury customers and there is a future for that,” Reeder said. “We have upped our investment in Glamour Sales and we are keeping a team in Shanghai. Even though we are doing international shipping in many countries, right now, China is the only one with a dedicated site — with Mandarin translation, size conversion charts and customized creative.”
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. In addition to products, the site features editorial content, fashion expertise and behind-the-scenes videos about luxury brands. The partnership also involves Neiman’s helping Glamour Sales expand flash sales.
At the time of the investment in Glamour Sales, Karen Katz, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Group, said the investment provided “a tremendous partner and a strong foothold in a rapidly expanding luxury market.”
Neiman’s challenge is to get Chinese consumers more familiar with its brand through marketing, fashion bloggers and editorial content. In April, the retailer staged its first fashion show in mainland China in Shanghai’s historic Bund waterfront to generate more awareness. The company is planning additional fashion presentations in China. Neiman’s also wants more Chinese to shop Neiman’s stores in the U.S., including Bergdorf Goodman. In 2012, Bergdorf held an event for a group of Chinese tourists traveling in New York.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast