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Direct-to-Consumer Internet Sales Bright Spot for Neiman Marcus

16 Sep, 2009 Response This Week

NEW YORK – Department store Neiman Marcus reported a difficult fourth quarter that included revenue decreases, but the company’s Internet business was the one bright spot, reports

Neiman Marcus reported a year-over-year decrease in revenue of 23.4 percent, but just an 18-percent decline for direct business, including 14 percent for the Internet and 30 percent for catalogs. Revenue for the quarter totaled $768 million, down from $1.03 billion the previous fiscal year.

“Our direct business had held up better than our full-line stores, with the decline in direct roughly half of the decrease in specialty retail sales,” says Burton Tansky, chairman and CEO of Neiman Marcus. “[The Internet] has held up much better and has produced encouraging results even during this difficult period.”

Tansky attributes the success of the E-commerce site to its easy accessibility and the middle-price range of online offerings – often less expensive than items sold in brick-and-mortar stores.

“We still believe there is a strong link between [the catalog and Internet] channels, and therefore, remain committed to both,” he adds. “We are deepening our understanding of the relationship between the catalog and the Internet and how our customers use both of them.”

In the coming fiscal year, the department store hopes to push more mid-level pricing and hired Wanda Gierhart as CMO to oversee integrated marketing, advertising and production for all divisions and brands.

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