Neiman Marcus Puts Digital Transformation at the Center of Its Bankruptcy Emergence Plan

Luxury retailer is replacing its print magazine with a digital campaign this fall, among other changes

neiman marcus storefront
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus plans to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of this month. Getty Images
Headshot of Richard Collings

Neiman Marcus is preparing to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of September after receiving court approval for its reorganization plan last Friday, which reduces debt and adds liquidity to its balance sheet.

The restructuring follows a Chapter 11 filing in early May and is key to the luxury retailer’s turnaround, providing it with both the time and resources to complete a digital transformation strategy underway before the pandemic.

Center stage of that plan, which will be implemented beginning this fall, is a new digital marketing campaign titled “Neiman’s State of Mind,” which will replace its print magazine The Book, at least for the near future.

Opting for digital versus print made sense during a time when consumers are engaging more with online content, according to Lana Todorovich, the company’s president and chief merchandising officer. The aim of the campaign is to deepen Neiman Marcus’ personal relationships with customers by “leaning into” the changes wrought by Covid-19.

“For us, luxury has been about the personal relationship, and we see that in how our customers are loyal to us,” Todorovich said.

“Neiman’s State of Mind” will also serve as the retailer’s digital hub for its ecommerce efforts and as the “umbrella” for its messaging, according to Todorovich. The idea is to tell a cohesive story about life at home during Covid-19. That story will be unveiled in chapters, giving customers a reason to continually return to the website and engage.

“Luxury is not just about doing and owning the best, but it’s [also] about feeling connected and being understood,” Todorovich said.

Chapter 1, for example, is about “The New Normal,” alongside a story around key pieces for fall, with forthcoming chapters on beauty and the “finer things in life.”

Images of customers sequestered at home populate the messaging. One shot features a young woman wearing a velvet jacket and pants by designer label Akris while sitting on her kitchen counter eating takeaway Chinese food, surrounded by pizza boxes.

The luxury retailer is replacing its print magazine The Book with a digital campaign for the fall.

The fully integrated campaign, which was created in-house and is brand- and product-driven, will appear in multiple channels including paid media and in-store and online experiences.

With that in mind, there is a focus on categories such as casual luxury and sustainable luxury, items such as loungewear for relaxing at home and beauty products for “camera” time, whether with loved ones or for work.

Like other retailers, Neiman Marcus is also seeing a significant increase in its sales of home furnishings as well as items such as sneakers, of which it sold 35,000 pairs in one month to men alone, trends that the retailer recalibrated for in its merchandise assortment, Todorovich noted.

The campaign is just the latest of Neiman Marcus’ efforts to begin the transition to life post-Covid-19 and post-bankruptcy.

Earlier this year, the luxury purveyor rolled out Neiman Marcus Connect, a service that links up customers with its nearly 5,000 sales associates, which generated some 1.5 million interactions either via email, phone calls, video calls or text messages during the three months when physical stores were closed due to the pandemic. It also resulted in $60 million in sales in addition to the revenue from NeimanMarcus.com, according to Todorovich.


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@RichCollings richard.collings@adweek.com Richard Collings is a retail reporter at Adweek.
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