Byline: Holly Haber

DALLAS — Seeking to strengthen its dominant position here, Neiman Marcus plans to open a 150,000-square-foot store in a new mall in the suburb of Plano in 2001.
The unit will replace a 123,000-square-foot store in the Prestonwood Town Center in north Dallas, which will close when the new store opens.
The strategy enables Neiman’s to expand into a fast-growing affluent suburb that is home to some big corporations, including J.C. Penney Co. and Electronic Data Systems.
“It’s obviously a great opportunity for us to be in the fastest growing part of Dallas, where we have a very good customer base,” commented Gerry Sampson, president and chief operating officer of Neiman’s.
“Volume-wise, we think it will be a significant increase from Prestonwood for a combination of reasons. It will be a larger plant in a new vital center with the proper merchandise mix. We haven’t spent a lot of money repositioning Prestonwood and remodeling.”
The new Neiman’s will be part of a still unnamed one-million-square-foot mall which will be The Taubman Co.’s first retail complex in Texas. The developer plans to complete the project by 2001, according to a Taubman spokesman.
Neiman’s is the first retailer to sign a letter of intent for the mall, which will be on a 100-acre site at the intersection of the North Dallas Tollway and Park Blvd.
The store Neiman’s plans to close is in an underperforming mall in flux. Two of the five anchors, J.C. Penney and Mervyn’s, closed this month.
Faced with competition from the nearby Galleria and Valley View Center, the owner of Prestonwood plans to redevelop the center into a mixed-use property.
Despite problems with the mall, Sampson said Neiman’s Prestonwood unit “does very well” and generates “medium-sized” volume compared to other Neiman’s stores. “The Prestonwood store has such a strong customer base,” he said.
But the new store provides Neiman’s with a location that is “much more convenient to shoppers in Plano and at same time moves them out of a position at Prestonwood where they could take traffic from their NorthPark store,” observed George Gillen, executive vice president of Management Horizons, the retail division of Price Waterhouse.
With 30 stores nationwide, Neiman’s biggest concentration is in its native Texas, where it has three units in Dallas, two in Houston and one in Fort Worth.
The company plans to unveil its 31st store next year, a 167,000-square-foot unit at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. That store will be followed by a 120,000-square-foot unit in Coral Gables, Fla., and a 145,000-square-foot store in The Mall at Oyster Bay in Syosset, N.Y., both of which are planned for 2000 or 2001.
In addition, a 57,000-square-foot unit is planned in Palm Beach, Fla., for fall 1999.

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