Neiman Marcus may be bracing for a showdown this month.
The retailer and its creditors have filed rivaling papers in Texas bankruptcy court relating to its plan to reorganize. A key sticking point, of course, is the retailer’s handling of the Mytheresa web site in 2018, and creditors are hoping they can still pursue recoveries related to that deal.
So far, the unsecured creditors’ committee, which was tasked by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones to investigate the circumstances surrounding the MyTheresa transfer, has completed its investigation and filed its report under seal, according to court filings. The conflict will come into fuller view at a hearing scheduled for Friday.
The conflict over Mytheresa, the German luxury web site that Neiman’s acquired in 2014, has loomed over the bankruptcy proceedings since they began in May. The transaction has sparked lawsuits by certain creditors who argue that the transaction was meant to keep the value of the Mytheresa asset away from the reach of creditors. Neiman’s disputes the allegations.
The unsecured creditors’ committee’s own proposal on reorganization essentially asks the court to allow unsecured creditors to be able to sue Neiman’s parents Ares Management and investment fund Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for recoveries related to the MyTheresa transfer.
A representative for Neiman Marcus declined to comment, and attorneys for the creditors committee could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Jones granted the committee’s motion to keep the report sealed, after the committee said in court filings that it involved material from confidential documents and deposition transcripts.
Meanwhile, the company’s latest filings in the case also signal its performance during the bankruptcy. Neiman’s gained some momentum in June when it generated $185,435,000 in sales, compared to revenues of $141,127,000 in May. The company had a net loss of $56,512,000 in June, compared to a net loss of $74,728,000 in May.
The loss before interest, depreciation and taxes was $34,973,000 in June compared to $60,736,000 last May.
On Tuesday, the retailer also unveiled the launch of its “Your Neiman’s” digital hub on neimanmarcus.com where customers can access expanded luxury services and experiences, including setting up a personal appointment in-store, curbside pickup, learning about trends and designers during virtual events, or engaging via video with a “style adviser.” Customers can get matched with a stylist by answering a few questions about their lifestyle, personal style, and needs at www.neimanmarcus.com/stylistmatch. The style adviser communicates with customers via text, email, video chat, or in person.
In March, Neiman’s introduced a proprietary tool, NM Connect, to enable stylists to better work with customers. Over three months, customers have purchased more than $60 million through Connect.
“NM Connect has transformed the way sales associates can communicate with their clients. The platform was designed to inspire clients, from offering personalized look books, to completing transactions remotely and instantly,” said Katie Mullen, NMG’s chief digital officer.
“With the launch of digital stylists and remote selling capabilities, we are enabling our associates to engage with and support customers anytime, anywhere.”