Neiman Marcus to close 25% of its Last Call stores
Back in July, Neiman Marcus cut 225 jobs and was strategizing the direction of its discount Last Call chain. Less than two months later, the luxury retailer has made the decision to close 25% of its Last Call stores — which equates to 10 stores out of 38 — due to a severe decline in sales at its regular Neiman Marcus stores.
As with competitors Nordstrom and Barney’s New York, Saks originally made the decision to expand its discount stores in an effort to boost sales despite the risk that shoppers would gravitate towards discount goods over full-price. Case in point, all three stores have seen a decline in department store sales in comparison to retail outlets.
The decision to close the Last Call stores, announced on Tuesday, follows seven straight quarters in a row reflecting plummeting sales at regular Neiman's stores. "This decision is about optimizing our Last Call store portfolio to deliver the best customer service and freeing up resources to support new initiatives for our full-line Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman channels,” said Elizabeth Allison, senior vice president, Last Call in a company release. “We are investing in our strengths as the clear leader of high-end luxury retail.”
Neiman Marcus also wants to restructure its existing Last Call stores to offer more merchandise from its regular stores to provide greater appeal to the consumer despite the fact that the made-for-outlet merchandise offers higher margins.
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