NEIMAN’S ACQUIRES 10% OF ONLINE GIFT REGISTRY

NEW YORK — The Neiman Marcus Group has taken a 10 percent interest in the Della & James online gift registry, reflecting Neiman’s new strategies to invest in outside businesses and tap the Internet.
The luxury retailer is part of an investment group pouring $45 million into Della & James. The group includes Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Amazon.com and two investment companies, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Trinity Ventures. Amazon has a 20 percent stake in Della & James.
Earlier this year, Neiman’s launched a strategy to invest in businesses outside its core operations, as reported. So far, it’s purchased a 56 percent interest in Kate Spade, the handbag company, through a $33.6 million cash transaction, and a 51 percent stake in Gurwitch Bristow Products, manufacturer of Laura Mercier makeup, in a cash deal valued at $6.7 million. The company has allocated $150 million to $200 million over three to five years to purchase stakes in possibly a half-dozen suppliers or resources. It could establish its first overseas presence through an investment in a designer or brand outside the U.S.
Neiman’s is expected to launch its own e-commerce site in about two weeks that will include its Christmas catalog. It already has a web site providing information on the company.
Della & James will use the new financing to broaden its business, including launching an all-occasion gift registry for this holiday season, which Neiman’s and other retailers will provide products for. The Della & James site brings together wedding registries from Neiman’s, Williams-Sonoma, REI, Crate & Barrel, Dillard’s and Gump’s. Both gift registries will be available on Amazon.com. Gifts will include books, electronics, housewares sporting goods, toys and clothing.
As customers make selections on Della & James web site, the items are saved in a personal customer wish list available at Della & James. The wish lists can also include sizing information, or personal interests to help people choose gifts.
Rebecca Patton is president and chief executive of Della & James, which is expected to announce more new partners soon.