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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Neiman Marcus Internet Sales Up 12.8 percent, New CEO looks to Reach Customers through Mobile Devices

Karen Katz photo by Jeanne Prejean
Neiman Marcus’ direct business sales (Internet and catalog) increased 12.8 percent year-over-year to $166.1 million in the first quarter of the 2011 fiscal year—led by a 16.9 percent increase in Internet sales to $139 million, offsetting a 4.6 percent decline in catalog revenue. Karen Katz, the new CEO, said the company will continue to invest in Internet and social media initiatives.

“At the heart of our strategy is an idea that a customer should be able to shop a Neiman Marcus group brand anytime, anywhere and anyplace she chooses,” Katz said during an earnings conference call Wednesday.

The luxury retailer’s e-commerce business includes Web sites for its Neiman Marcus brand, its Last Call clearance brand and Horchow, its catalog and Internet business that offers home furnishings, linens, decorative accessories and tabletop items.

Now Katz, who replaced Burt Tansky as CEO in October, said she is trying to reach customers through their mobile devices.

The company recently introduced a Neiman Marcus gift app for iPhone and iPad, a The Shoe Salon Bergdorf Goodman iPhone app (pictured left) with an emphasis on affordable gifts, a gift of the day and gift suggestions at different price points, Katz said. There’s an interactive iPad app for all Neiman Marcus catalogs in which users can shop right from the catalog.

“There’s clearly a need as the customer is getting more connected between their mobile devices, their iPads and those kinds of things we really have to ramp up how we’re connecting with the customer in that way,” she said. “Obviously we have a large e-commerce business and we are going to continue to fuel that but even in our stores we’re studying how to be better connected with our customers."

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