Neiman Marcus has decided to shutter 10 of its Last Call stores to focus more on its full-line, higher-end stores and merchandise — which also includes the NYC-based Bergdorf Goodman store. The luxury retailer has already closed three of these locations this year, leaving 28 Last Call stores in operation.
Neiman Marcus will lay off 241 workers as part of the 10 store closings. Employees will receive severance packages based on length of service and will also be considered for employment in other Neiman Marcus locations, according to a company statement.
In July, Neiman Marcus said it was going to reassess its outlet division to align with changing customer shopping demands, as reported by Dallas News. The Dallas-based retailer has been struggling with $5 billion in debt and seven straight quarters of declining sales. Neiman Marcus even had previously considered a public offering and sale, which the company later decided to not pursue.
The move to reduce its Last Call footprint is quite surprising given the fact that off-price retail is thriving and is anticipated to outperform the broader apparel segment by 4% in the next five years, according to Moody’s research. But Neiman Marcus said its strategy was to offer customers more merchandise in its full-line stores as opposed to churning out off-price-specific goods.
“This decision is about optimizing our Last Call store portfolio to deliver the best customer service and freeing up resources to support new initiatives for our full-line Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman channels,” said Elizabeth Allison, SVP of Last Call in a statement. “We are investing in our strengths as the clear leader of high-end luxury retail.”