Neiman Marcus to streamline business, will close most Last Call stores by 2021
Dallas-based department store operator Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) announced a series of new strategic initiatives on Wednesday, including the fusion its in-store and online teams, the sale of two distribution centers and the streamlining of Last Call.
A continuation of the transformation growth initiatives introduced by the company in August 2018, the new measures announced on Wednesday aim to develop customer relationships and integrate the online and in-store experiences into a seamless whole, while also trimming the fat at the retail group.
Accordingly, the decision to bring NMG’s online and in-store teams together as one group led by chief retail officer David Goubert is intended to make the organization more customer-centric but will also involve the elimination of some 250 non-selling roles at the company’s stores.
As part of the same initiative, the retailer is planning to change the role of its sales associates to that of client advisors, providing them with digital clienteling tools and creating new roles focused on specific parts of the customer journey, both on a store and a regional level.
In an effort to refocus its business on full-price sales, NMG also announced that it will be shuttering the majority of its Last Call discount stores before the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Certain locations will remain open in order to sell residual Neiman Marcus stock.
The move will involve the elimination of around 500 roles related to the Last Call business over the next eight months and, according to NMG, will allow the company to concentrate on high-value luxury customers by reinvesting resources in its Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman brands.
Some affected Last Call employees will be transferred to other roles, while others will be eligible for severance, outplacement services or the opportunity to apply for open positions at NMG.
The final initiative announced by NMG on Wednesday was the initiation of a sale process for its distribution centers in Longview and Las Colinas, Texas. Through the sale of the two facilities, the company is hoping to reinvest in its supply chain in order to be able to respond to increasingly demanding customer expectations regarding speed.
According to NMG, recent investments made in its West Coast distribution center have already led to an average four to five-day speed-to-market improvement.
“We are making purposeful decisions as we continue to transform NMG into a business that drives accelerated profitable and sustainable growth,” commented NMG CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck in a release. “We have a loyal customer base, solid store footprint, and a strong online presence. We will continue to manage the business for continued growth and success.”
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