NM TO ADD BRIDGE-LEVEL FORWARD DESIGNER LINES
Byline: HOLLY HABER
DALLAS — Neiman Marcus is expanding its bridge business next month by adding a group of forward sportswear labels, including Anna Sui, Byron Lars, Liza Bruce, Norma Kamali, Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti and Zang Toi.
The collections will be featured at Neiman’s units in Beverly Hills and San Francisco in August. In October, the Houston unit will also carry the lines. Neiman’s expects to do more than $1 million in sales with the lines at the three stores through January.
By spring, the Bal Harbour, Fla., unit is expected to be included in the program.
“As we get more familiar with what’s working, we plan to expand the group dramatically to other stores,” said Gerald Barnes, vice president and divisional merchandise manager. He said this “emerging group” of designer-oriented collections at bridge prices could be “a significant part of the bridge business,” depending on sales and profitability. The lines will be given a prominent 1,200-square-foot space in Neiman’s Designer II bridge department and presented adjacent to such collections as DKNY, Emanuel and CK Calvin Klein. Typically, jackets are priced at $400 to $500, and pants, skirts and blouses range from $150 to $200. Neiman’s plans to drop some other labels to make room for the new group, though executives would not identify which ones.
In 1990, Neiman’s had promoted Zang Toi, Jennifer George, Charlotte Neuville and Carmelo Pomodoro in eight stores, in order to attract a younger clientele. But the experiment failed to generate significant business and was phased out.
Barnes said he is confident the new plan will work.
“It’s not an exploration for image sake,” he said. “We’re planning on this being a salable department.”