Neiman Marcus Group, continuing to rebuild its marketing team to intensify the focus on digital, has hired Theresa Palermo, the chief marketing officer at Vera Bradley, WWD has learned.
Palermo will join NMG on Sept. 11 as vice president of marketing for the Neiman Marcus, Last Call and Horchow divisions, reporting to Carrie Tharp, NMG’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
“Theresa will play a central role, with our creative team and myself, to evolve the Neiman Marcus brand and loyalty programs, and create new collaborative campaigns with our vendor partners,” remarked Tharp.
Neiman’s in a statement said Palermo has “extensive digital brand experience and a strong foundation in classic brand building.” At Vera Bradley, which specializes in handbags, luggage, travel items, gifts and home products, she led the e-commerce, marketing, public relations, visual and creative teams. She was instrumental in raising the profile of Vera Bradley and relaunching verabradley.com. Earlier, Palermo was the vice president of global marketing for the Fossil Group.
Neiman’s cited other changes in its marketing department over the last several months, including in April naming Yujin Heo vice president of creative, and in February, hiring Mark McClendon as vice president, media and marketing strategy, with responsibility for managing the shared services media department for the Neiman Marcus Group while driving top-line and customer growth through digital, social and traditional media.
“We are building out the team with new hires, expanding roles and leveraging our luxury industry experts to drive our digital-first strategy and growth plan,” said Tharp.
Heo was vice president of e-commerce creative since April 2017. Her role expands her responsibilities to cover all traditional creative including The Book, as well as store visual. She reports to Tharp. Earlier in her career, Heo worked at Amazon, where she helped launched Amazon’s photo studio in New York. She also worked at MyHabit.com, and at Macy’s where she focused on e-commerce, the mobile web site, and omnichannel efforts.
McClendon has more than 15 years of experience focusing on digital marketing and analytics, having worked at J.C. Penney, Blockbuster and Hotels.com.
Tharp joined Neiman Marcus Group in October 2016 from Fossil where she served as senior vice president, chief marketing officer and head of e-commerce. Earlier, she worked at Travelocity, Dean Foods, Bain & Co. and TXU Energy.
At NMG, e-commerce accounts for slightly more than 30 percent of overall revenues, or about $1.4 billion in annual sales. While the company has been experiencing challenging sales and traffic trends at its stores, in the last quarter online traffic grew year-over-year and there was customer growth, the Dallas-based retailer said. Further growth is being seen in the current quarter, Neiman’s added.
Two decades ago, Neiman’s became the first luxury retailer to establish a presence on the web. Lately, Neiman’s has been working to deliver personalized shopping experiences online and at its stores through advanced analytics and data resources.
“Given the scale of our NMG digital business, we are bringing key digital capabilities in-house in order to maximize the combined power of our advanced analytics, customer insights and luxury product knowledge,” said Tharp. “Our focus is to fully empower our in-house digital channel experts to accelerate the growth of the business.”
Neiman’s NMG One common merchandise system is expected to help deliver better data. Recent glitches in the system caused vendors to miss sales data and impaired ordering and replenishments, but Neiman’s has said it has been correcting problems. The NMG One system is geared for better planning, markdown optimization and maximizing the efficiency of inventory across channels. It became fully live at the end of last August.
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