Re­tailer Neiman Mar­cus says it may seek a buyer

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

Lux­ury re­tailer Neiman Mar­cus says it’s ex­plor­ing strate­gic al­ter­na­tives, in­clud­ing a pos­si­ble sale of the com­pany.

The an­nounce­ment Tues­day came as the re­tailer, which also op­er­ates Bergdorf Good­man, re­ported a loss in its sec­ond fis­cal quar­ter that ended Jan. 28 and its sixth con­sec­u­tive quar­terly drop for a key rev­enue mea­sure.

Like many de­part­ment stores, Neiman Mar­cus has been wrestling with de­clin­ing cus­tomer traf­fic and slug­gish sales as shop­pers in­creas­ingly buy on­line. Even in the world of lux­ury, af­flu­ent shop­pers are dra­mat­i­cally chang­ing their habits and are buy­ing de­signer bags and clothes on­line at places like eBay or con­sign­ment shops.

“The high-end brands are los­ing mo­men­tum,” says Mar­shal Co­hen, chief in­dus­try an­a­lyst at NPD Group Inc., a mar­ket re­search firm. He said the av­er­age price for a lux­ury item dropped 5 per­cent last year from the prior year.

Neiman Mar­cus didn’t spec­ify which re­tail­ers it was look­ing at. The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported that the com­pany is in dis­cus­sions with de­part­ment store op­er­a­tor Hud­son’s Bay Co., which has been on an ac­qui­si­tion spree over the past few years and op­er­ates such stores as Saks Fifth Av­enue, Lord & Tay­lor and its name­sake chain. In Fe­bru­ary, re­ports were swirling that Hud­son’s Bay was look­ing at tak­ing over Macy’s Inc., whose plans to rein­vent it­self haven’t been enough to turn around its busi­ness. Neiman Mar­cus didn’t im­me­di­ately re­spond when asked for com­ment, and Hud­son’s Bay says it doesn’t com­ment on ru­mors.

“We se­lec­tively eval­u­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­cel­er­ate the com­pany’s strate­gic growth while main­tain­ing or en­hanc­ing its credit profile,” Hud­son’s Bay said in a state­ment.

Neiman Mar­cus says it has not set up a timetable for com­plet­ing the eval­u­a­tion. The chain known for its lav­ish hol­i­day cat­a­log was bought by Ares Man­age­ment LLC and the Canada Pen­sion Plan In­vest­ment Board in 2013.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.