Neiman Marcus's Christmas book will be in print this season, marking the 94th year of the iconic catalog, President and Chief Merchandising Officer Lana Todorovich said during today's summit of Adweek's virtual trading week.
The print publication released today also contrasts with the retailer's continued advances in its digital transformation. Ultimately, the print release means maintaining some of Neiman Marcus' traditions prior to filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.
In addition to the balance between old and new approaches, the digital development of the luxury retailer remains in the foreground.
"We were fortunate to have been on a transformation journey that we began about a year and a half before the pandemic," said Todorovich. "So we already had a lot of different fundamental blocks, one of which was digital transformation," she added, discussing the retailer's state before the pandemic.
As part of the investment in digital, Neiman Marcus also wants to build on the loyal customer base that has existed for over 100 years. Building on relationships with European luxury brands that the company has launched in the US over the years is also part of its plans to stay relevant.
Needless to say, the arrival of Covid-19 accelerated these efforts.
The retailer's digital investments include an app called Neiman Marcus Connect. The app was launched during the pandemic to connect sales reps with customers. It appears to have made a successful connection: this remote selling platform generated around $ 100 million in additional revenue regardless of the existing e-commerce and physical store channels. At the same time, the app strengthened relationships with customers who were looking for an approach to personal relationships with in-store salespeople, explained Todorovich.
When Neiman Marcus tried to meet the demand for a virtual work, he was inspired to create a digital version of his fall catalog, the Fall Book, instead of a print version, Todorovich said. In this sense, the return of the printed Christmas book reflects the “exclusivity” that the brand has always wanted to deal with.
The retailer then started a purely digital campaign entitled "Neiman's state of mind", which was first posted in the chat and told stories in chapters about the adjustment to the "new normal". She continues the spirit of that message with her “Make it Magic” digital vacation campaign, which includes, for example, 25 content stories about creating new traditions, she said.
As part of his restructuring, Neiman Marcus realized that it was advisable to reduce the number of full price stores to 36 while closing the last call stores at the special price. As of September 8, the company operated 43 Neiman Marcus locations, two Bergdorf Goodman locations in New York, and five Last Call locations.
Over the next year, Neiman Marcus aims to maximize the customer experience in these physical stores. The plan is for the retailer to match each customer with a stylist “Soulmate”, available either online or in-store. Neiman Marcus will also deliver a curated selection of products in different categories tailored to each customer's taste.
It is important that the brand sees itself as a luxury platform that integrates its various channels, including stores, online and apps, and not as a department store chain. Todorovich added that brick and mortar stores will remain the backbone of the business.
“The way we think about it is a really integrated retail. However, our customers can shop with us anywhere, whenever they want and whatever they are comfortable with, and we now have those options, ”she said.