It was Christmas in June last week when Neiman Marcus revealed to the media its holiday assortment, ranging from the extravagant — like the Christian Louboutin $6,000 crystal backpack — to the accessible, such as the $18 three-pack of Stance comic book socks.
It’s an array of fun, flashy and festive items across a wide price range. Who wouldn’t want that ornately printed Versace football, or a set of matching reindeer-patterned pajamas for mom, dad and the kids from PJ Salvage. Or what about that Blush clutch with a hidden flask, or a side table that doubles as a 360-degree speaker and phone charger?
“From a gifting perspective, we’re seeing so many trends coming about: bold gold, neon and bright colors and lots of sparkles,” said Theresa Palermo, Neiman’s senior vice president of marketing and public relations. “We’re seeing lip-themed items, more hair accessories and solar-system-themed gifts. It’s also all about the sloth this season. The sloth is the new llama.”
Many holiday gifts are sold on an exclusive basis at the 43 Neiman’s stores and on neimanmarcus.com, either for a few weeks, or for the entire season. Gifting, exclusivity and providing new experiences are important components in management’s efforts to rev up sales and profits (which were down last quarter) and transform the Neiman Marcus Group into a “customer-centric luxury platform.”
Gold or gold-accented products permeate the holiday assortment, from the Versace gold barbells and Tom Ford body oils in gold glimmer finish, to the Smile rose gold electric toothbrush.
Being a lip moment, Neiman’s is offering JR Williams large and small lip trays, selling for $75 to $148; Bari Lynn lip coasters, $65, and Maggie Louise chocolate lips, $130 for 25.
Animal prints are prominent across outerwear, accessories, handbags, even sneakers, and there’s the expected emphasis on cashmere — a holiday staple — with a selection ranging from Neiman Marcus label crewnecks, priced at $395, and slippers, priced at $145, to the Agnona cashmere pant, priced for $1,490.
Neiman’s 2019 holiday assortment for the first time features a new category, “For Your Social Life,” which focuses on contemporary fashions from about 15 labels and an average price point hovering around $350. Among the styles, an Alice + Olivia sequined jacket and a one-shouldered Aidan sequined dress with feather accents.
“We’re also creating another tier of gifting this year called “extra extraordinary gifts,'” said Palermo. “Extraordinary wasn’t enough for Neiman Marcus, they needed to be a little extra. Who doesn’t need a personalized Moët Chandon champagne vending machine in their home?” The machine is stocked with 360 bottles, and being in that “extra extraordinary” tier, is expected to be priced somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000.
Neiman’s starts selling its holiday assortment in mid-October, which is also when the retailer reveals its uber-expensive and much-anticipated “fantasy gifts,” which are spotlighted in the Christmas catalogue.
With the fantasy gifts, “We don’t want to spoil the surprises, but we promise a collection of the most desired and outrageous experiences and moments,” Palermo said. “Stanley Marcus (the legendary and late Neiman’s chairman) started a tradition of outrageously fabulous gifts, from Illamas to ‘yours and mine’ hot air balloons. This year, we won’t disappoint.”