Oct 25, 2010
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Neiman Marcus to open moderately priced chain

Oct 25, 2010

(Reuters) - Luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus [NMRCUS.UL] is planning to open a new line of outlet stores this autumn that will focus on moderately priced goods, the New York Times reported on its web site on Friday.

Neiman Marcus

The new chain, to be called Last Call Studio, will sell clothes that are not for sale at Neiman Marcus' full service department stores or at its existing chain of Last Call outlet stores, the Times said, citing an interview with the retailer's chief marketing officer, Wanda Gierhart.

The move comes as Neiman Marcus, and rivals Saks Inc (SKS.N) and Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N), have tried to adapt to frugality among luxury shoppers amid an uncertain economic recovery.

Saks has expanded its Saks Off 5th chain of outlet stores even as it has closed several of its full-service Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and Nordstrom has opened a number of new "Rack" outlets this year.

Neiman Marcus has previously said it was expanding its Last Call outlets, which focus on clearance merchandise. The Last Call Studio stores will be smaller that the Last Call outlets, the Times reported.

Luxury sales began recovering earlier this year after a sharp decline following the financial crisis. Neiman Marcus Group, which also includes Bergdorf Goodman, last month reported that fourth-quarter sales at stores open at least a year rose 6.5 percent.

A representative for Neiman Marcus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Gary Hill)

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