NM DIRECT NAMES KATZ

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Karen Katz, a 15-year veteran of Neiman Marcus with store operations and merchandising experience, has been promoted to president and chief executive officer of the Neiman Marcus Direct catalog and e-commerce division.
Katz, 43, succeeds Sharen Jester Turney, who is expected is announce her new job with another retailer in a week. Katz, formerly executive vice president of stores with operating responsibility for all 31 Neiman’s stores, will report to Burt Tansky, president and chief operating officer of Neiman Marcus Group, parent of NM Direct, the Neiman’s chain and Bergdorf Goodman.
“She’s demonstrated strong leadership and has a broad skill set that’s critical as we pursue an integrated, multichannel marketing strategy,” Tansky said Monday.
NM Direct has been experiencing a strong year, with its catalogs running strong as the division develops it’s e-commerce site and seeks to get the jump on selling luxury fashion online, an area still relatively untested.
Neiman’s site was launched in October with 575 items, increased to its current 2000 items and a “major relaunch” is planned in September with a larger assortment and expanded editorial content, Tansky said.
Tansky credited Turney, who ran NM Direct for 2 1/2 years, with upgrading the content and look of the Neiman’s books. Neiman’s distributes more than 100 million catalogs in 72 editions annually. NM Direct posted $319 million in sales last year. Tansky declined to break out catalog and Internet sales.
He said Katz’s challenge would be to “work the Internet and see that it becomes a large and viable business for us, and continue building our catalog business off its strong platform.” Asked if Neiman’s site cannibalizes Neiman’s catalog sales, Tansky replied, “We have seen no impact to date.”
Neiman’s three regional store directors, for the Northeast-Midwest, Southeast and Southwest, will temporarily report to Hugh Mullins, chairman and ceo of the Neiman’s chain, until a successor to Katz is selected.
Katz spent more than two years as executive vice president. Previously, she was a regional store director and before that, she managed Neiman’s North Park store in Dallas, the chain’s largest-volume unit, approaching $200 million in sales.