Will luxury consumers buy what Neiman Marcus is selling in 2021?

Discussion
Source: Neiman Marcus “Reintroduce Yourself” campaign spot
Aug 11, 2021

Neiman Marcus has gone through a bankruptcy and come out of it carrying less debt and on somewhat surer footing as it embarks on a new rebranding campaign — Re-Introduce Yourself — for the fall.

The luxury department store retailer says the new campaign is optimistic and forward-looking and tells the story of bright days ahead for both the company and its customers. Messaging created in-house by Neiman Marcus’ creative team combines broadcast, digital, social, in-store and events to completely integrate across all potential customer touchpoints.

The retailer also announced that it would bring back “The Book,” an in-house magazine that features exclusive interviews with top designers and other content of interest to its upscale customer base.

A video kicking off the campaign will begin airing on Aug. 17 in 60-, 30- and 15-second spots. The first phase of the campaign will cover three months before Neiman Marcus transitions into its next branding effort.

“The upward business momentum we’ve experienced has been an optimistic sign of new possibilities and a new world,” Lana Todorovich, president and chief merchandising officer, Neiman Marcus, said in a statement. “This season calls for all of us to re-introduce who we are and what we’ve learned about ourselves. It’s time for Neiman Marcus to do the same, and we want our customers to not only meet us again but know that we’re in this together.”

Will luxury consumers buy what Neiman Marcus is selling in 2021?
Source: Neiman Marcus

Re-Introduce Yourself is an opportunity for us to convey how we’ve evolved and share our re-imagined fashion perspective and hopefulness for the future that lies ahead while inspiring our customers to stylishly and confidently follow suit,” said Neiman Marcus chief marketing officer Daz McColl.

A major merchandising element of the campaign is the introduction of 40 new emerging and luxury brands to the retailer’s customers. The new styles, which are positioned to help appeal to a younger affluent audience, are supported by Neiman Marcus’ digital style advisors that offer personal shopping services online and in-store.

Mr. McColl said the retailer has reimagined its storytelling across all channels with the new campaign.

Not only is it the first time we have featured real style advisors in a spot, but it’s also an ode to the vitality of their relationships with our customers and commitment to supporting each one in this new era by consistently providing personal and inspirational experiences,” he said.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Neiman Marcus has placed itself on the right financial footing to be able to devote the resources needed to bring in new customers while continuing to deliver what its longtime fans expect? Where do you see the greatest opportunities and challenges ahead for the retailer?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"'Re-Introduce Yourself' with all of its optimism is just what we need right about now."
"I’m moving from bearish to cautiously optimistic on (at least the potential for) a rebound for the business."
"I am also convinced that for strong profitability to be possible, more consolidation needs to occur."

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10 Comments on "Will luxury consumers buy what Neiman Marcus is selling in 2021?"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

Exiting bankruptcy is the first step, but Neiman Marcus has a long way to go. The bigger question is can Neiman Marcus find relevancy in what has become a completely changed landscape? No doubt Neiman Marcus still has a following, but it’s yet to be seen if they can capture new fans as they move forward. Initiatives like “The Book” are nostalgic, but whether or not it resonates with a new, younger consumer is questionable. Overall, I’d say Neiman Marcus is making progress but the future will be challenging and uncertain.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Neiman Marcus is certainly on a better footing as the debt it previously held was absolutely crippling and no matter what it did it was unable to move into the black. It now has a chance. However issues remain. Foremost among these is one of relevance. To its very loyal customers, Neiman Marcus is a relevant retailer. However outside of this circle it needs to increase its appeal. That can be hard to do when so many luxury brands and houses are now going direct to the consumer via their own experiential stores or online. Resolving this is crucial if Neiman Marcus wants to maintain both its status with newer generations – and there is an image issue that comes into play here too – and its long term viability.

Steve Dennis
BrainTrust
While I’ve been gone from the senior leadership team at Neiman Marcus Group for quite some time, I still see the fundamental challenges of the luxury department store sector as fundamentally the same, namely, winning and profitably growing customers outside the historical high-spending, price insensitive uber-wealthy segment. Outside of China (and perhaps the Middle East) the luxury sector started to mature a decade ago and much of the growth in North America and Western Europe for most luxury brands came from raising prices, not transaction growth. E-commerce provided some upside, but NM, Saks, Nordstrom and others are now highly penetrated online. Fortunately Neiman’s has gotten out from under an absurdly over-priced, over-leveraged PE buyout, and that gives them time and money to mount a transformation. Yet, all the things they’ve struggled with for over a decade are still the same. And the competition has only gotten more fierce, from both disruptive brands and their vendors’ more developed DTC strategies. I am also convinced that for strong profitability to be possible, more consolidation needs to occur.… Read more »
Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Yes, Neiman Marcus has challenges, but luckily, no other brand has challenged its go-to luxury status. Neiman Marcus has the opportunity to create a new attitude that will attract younger affluent consumers and, combined with technology, should make a big splash.

Liza Amlani
BrainTrust

Neiman Marcus is on the right path towards solidifying their brand positioning within the luxury market. Loyal customers and long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgia of “The Book” while Neiman Marcus is catering to the new customer by enabling personalized experiences through NM Connect, their shopper app.

The Neiman Marcus strategy is to elevate their customer relationships and they are enabling their sales teams and their legacy, along with technology and data, to lead them in the right direction — getting closer to their customer and giving them what they need, no matter who they are.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Neiman Marcus must be confident of its financial footing if it is launching a big campaign like Re-introduce Yourself. I love the idea of reintroducing your company to customers after the year we have been through and continue to navigate. It takes work to get back on the consumer radar.

The media has been talking for years about department stores being dinosaurs. Neiman Marcus could either sit back and continue to deal with that perception or do something about it. “Re-Introduce Yourself” with all of its optimism is just what we need right about now.

Phil Rubin
BrainTrust

While I’ve been a skeptic about Neiman Marcus since way before the bankruptcy, the reduction in debt load, a new focus on the customer and a return to some of the more relevant Neiman Marcus assets are a great start. The Book, in analog or digital form, shows the power of the Neiman Marcus brand and, in tandem with the new campaign, shows more promise than anything I’ve seen Neiman Marcus do in years. I’m moving from bearish to cautiously optimistic on (at least the potential for) a rebound for the business.

David Spear
BrainTrust

If Neiman Marcus plays its cards right, I can envision them creating a pretty cool niche with digital born Millennials and Gen Zers. The trick will be finding the design fashions that appeal to younger shoppers while trying to pinpoint attractive price points for broader audiences. I’m not sold on re-imagining The Book, but I am all-in on evangelizing the digital style advisors, which I think has so many CX, media and PR opportunities.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

The challenge of course is damage done by years of financial excess simply adds to, rather than replaces, all the normal competitive issues. (I’d like to share the optimistic view that this part of the problem is behind them — sort of a “nineteen times burned, twenty times as careful” outlook — but I’m guarded.)

And those competitive issues? In many ways I think Neiman’s is the Texas version of Bloomingdale’s: a “curated” approach to national expansion, but it retains an intense identity with its home market…transforming itself into a “world retailer” remains a struggle.

Kai Clarke
BrainTrust

No. Neiman Marcus is stuck in the wrong model, even after exiting bankruptcy. It doesn’t need a new marketing campaign, it needs an entirely new business model. This includes defining what it will do with all of their mall stores and how they are going to compete with retailers who do not have massive real estate expenses.

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Braintrust
"'Re-Introduce Yourself' with all of its optimism is just what we need right about now."
"I’m moving from bearish to cautiously optimistic on (at least the potential for) a rebound for the business."
"I am also convinced that for strong profitability to be possible, more consolidation needs to occur."

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