Neiman Marcus in The Shops at Hudson Yards is close to declaring bankruptcy due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing closures across America, New York, NY May 1, 2020. (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Neiman Marcus Group, streamlining operations through its bankruptcy process, has determined that it will close four of its luxury department stores including the Hudson Yards location, as well as 17 Last Call outlets.

The other three department stores that will close are in Bellevue, Wash.; Palm Beach, Fla., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The four department store closings and 17 Last Call closings were listed in court documents indicating leases that are being assumed or rejected.

But it’s likely there will be additional store closings determined in the future. Neiman’s has been working with A&G Real Estate Partners to market the Neiman Marcus department stores in Walnut Creek, Calif., and Mazza Gallerie in Washington, D.C., along with the Palm Beach and Bellevue units.

The Neiman Marcus Group includes 42 Neiman Marcus department stores and two Bergdorf Goodman emporiums, as well as 22 Last Call outlets.

Neiman’s has for awhile been in talks with Related Companies., co-developer of Hudson Yards, on replacing the Neiman Marcus space with Facebook offices. Facebook is already a major tenant at Hudson Yards.

“While we have no other store closures to announce at this time, we will continue to assess our store fleet throughout the restructuring process. We will communicate any additional decisions as they are made,” Lana Todorovich, president and chief merchandising officer of Neiman Marcus, told vendors in a letter Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by WWD.

Todorovich also wrote, “The closing of these select stores is a difficult action but it will optimize our market presence and ensure the long-term success of NMG. Final closing dates have not been determined yet, but we anticipate these stores closing in the fall.

“The COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed the importance of our stores in the context of our digital ecosystem,” the chief merchant added. “The pandemic also gave us the opportunity to build and nurture customer relationships through digital sales which helped us gain market share. We are purposefully focusing on the stores that maximize customer relationships and increase profitability.”

Updating the status of the store fleet, Todorovich said, “As of this week, we have successfully reopened 31 stores for customer traffic and 42 stores for customer appointments. We strategically paced our reopenings and took a very deliberate approach for the safety of our teams and clients with the goal of building our ecosystem to develop and nurture our customer relationships. These reopenings have been very successful and feedback from our customers continues to be positive. Our sales associates also continue to connect with our customers digitally, serving them via NM Connect. Over three months, customers have purchased more than $60 million through Connect.”

Neiman’s assessment of stores involves ways to monetize locations and not necessarily close them. Decisions would depend on Neiman’s outlook on the stores, their profitability, bankruptcy proceedings and negotiations with landlords.

Neiman’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 7. Bankruptcy enables retailers to get out of leases without penalty.

Sources have cited Neiman’s downtown Dallas, St. Louis;  Natick, Mass., and Westchester, N.Y., as units that could be candidates for closure.

The Neiman Marcus Group also includes the Mytheresa and Horchow direct-to-consumer businesses.

 

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