Report: Neiman Marcus looking for a buyer

Struggling luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is out looking for an investor or buyer, according to a source close to the matter.

Neiman Marcus saw sales plunge 81 percent in its latest fiscal quarter, on top of earlier losses. While the company isn't alone – fellow department store brands Nordstrom, Macy's and Hudson's Bay's Saks Fifth Avenue also saw sales drop – Neiman Marcus is carrying close to $5 billion in debt.

Part of the problems stems from declining tourist dollars in the luxury sector and another part is specific to Neiman Marcus' concentration of stores in Texas, a market dependent on the oil and gas industry.

"Two of our biggest stores are in Dallas NorthPark and Houston Galleria, where the economy and our customers' business interests are heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry," CEO Karen Katz said on a conference call with analysts.

Now Katz is in China looking for financial assistance, according to the New York Post. Neiman Marcus is privately held and had plans to go public, an increasingly unlikely event.

For more:
- see this New York Post story
- see this Wall Street Journal article (tiered subscription)

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