Neiman Marcus Group is planning to invest in a multi-year, $100 million project including a new ship-to-store delivery option and a new mobile app. The move is an effort to compete with mammoth online retailers such as Amazon as well as brick-and-mortar chains that have already stepped up their ship-from-store and mobile initiatives.
"If you aren't watching Amazon.com, you'd be remiss. They are the 800-pound gorilla," Jim Gold, Neiman president of specialty retail, said at Texas A&M's Retailing Summit in Dallas late last week, the Dallas Business Journal reported.
Neiman Marcus's imitative investment will allow it to drive sales across all brands and channels, including in-store, online and mobile, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The retailer will start building its merchandising platform during fiscal 2014 and it will be implemented in fiscal 2016.
"It's been the most challenging thing we've had to do. The way we are able to put products in front of customers–it's a new day," Gold said.
Neiman Marcus is timing the launch of the new omnichannel strategy with the $6 billion sale of the company–expected to close on –to Los Angeles-based Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Neiman Marcus is planning to expand its inventory availability when it launches the ship-from-store service, according to Gold. Neiman Marcus did not release details about the new app. However, when it piloted its NM Service in 2012, the app allowed its customers to directly connect to sales associates and alerted sales associates when certain customers arrived. Executives later decided to get rid of the app and, instead, armed its associates with iPhones.
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