Neiman Marcus Group is streamlining to improve its operations and performance amid the tough retail landscape.
“A streamlining to complement our strategic focus has resulted in the elimination, reorganization or regionalization of approximately 225 positions across all brands and operating divisions,” a spokeswoman said.
The cutback represents less than 2 percent of Neiman’s total workforce, though it’s possible some of the 225 employees get reassigned within the company. The spokeswoman said employees affected by these changes have been offered severance packages and will be considered for other Neiman Marcus Group job openings.
As part of the streamlining, Neiman’s is assessing its Last Call off-price portfolio “to optimize our store footprint and ensure we have the right mix of brick-and-mortar and online stores to meet our customers’ evolving demands,” the spokeswoman said. Neiman’s has already adjusted the staffing levels at Last Call stores to improve profitability. Three stores were recently closed. No specific decisions regarding further Last Call store closures have been made. There are 37 Last Call stores. Neiman’s also operates 42 full-line stores.
The Dallas-based Neiman’s isn’t alone in its streamlining efforts. Macy’s, J.C. Penney, J. Crew, Hudson’s Bay Co. and other retailers both large and small have triggered cutbacks over the past two years involving layoffs and store closures, to bring costs in line with market conditions in an era when more shopping is migrating to online.
Despite the challenges that Neiman’s has experienced in the past several seasons, the spokeswoman emphasized that the company “continues to pursue a strategy that plays to our strengths as the clear leader in luxury retail, both in store and online….We know our customers have fundamentally changed the way they shop and experience our brands, largely because of technology. As a result, we must change, too.”
To strengthen the company, the spokeswoman said, “We are actively focused on expanding our data and analytics capabilities, furthering the scale of our digital business and creating even more meaningful experiences for our customers in stores and online.
“Our business is increasingly becoming more dependent on interacting with our customers via text, e-mail and on our web sites. This is a key consideration as we evaluate when and where changes make the most sense for our customers and our company.
In June, the company terminated efforts to try to sell itself. Since October 2013, the company has been owned by Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment which bought the business for $6 billion, putting significant debt on the books and affecting profitability and capital expenditures. Neiman’s reported a net loss of $24.9 million for the third quarter ended April 29, compared to net earnings of $3.8 million for the year-ago third quarter. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined to $135.9 million compared to $173.2 million in the prior year.