Just 16 months after its first New York City store debuted as the anchor for the brand-new Hudson Yards retail and residential complex, Neiman Marcus announced it would close the 188,000-square-foot store. The iconic department store retailer, which filed for bankruptcy in May, also will close stores in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Fla. and Bellevue, Wash. as part of its Chapter 11 proceedings.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on brick-and-mortar retail, particularly malls, was a key factor behind the retailer’s decision to exit the New York City location. “Customers are and will continue to shop differently than they did prior to the pandemic,” said a Neiman Marcus Group spokesperson in comments provided to Retail TouchPoints. “We are assessing each store in how they maximize customer relationships and optimize profitability. A physical location in Hudson Yards is no longer an ideal space for us given the preponderance of restaurants and future office space in that mall.”
“We are always assessing our store footprint to ensure it is optimal to enhance revenues, overall profitability, and our integrated retail strategy,” said the spokesperson. “These store closures will help ensure the continued long-term success of our business and underscore our unrelenting focus on providing unparalleled luxury experiences and engagement.”
The retailer will continue to operate other brick-and-mortar Neiman Marcus stores in the tri-state area and is “purposefully focusing on the unique relationships we already have with our loyal luxury customers at Bergdorf Goodman,” the spokesperson added. From 1972, when Neiman Marcus acquired the prestigious Fifth Avenue landmark, until the Hudson Yards store opened last year, the parent company did not use its brand name in the city.
The seven-story, 720,000-square-foot Hudson Yards complex, operated by Oxford Properties Group and Related Cos., has been closed since the early days of the pandemic, although some stores are now offering curbside pickup services. Related is reportedly shopping the Neiman Marcus space for office tenants, according to CNBC.
“It is unfortunate that Neiman Marcus was unable to achieve the success that other retailers have found at Hudson Yards, and we look forward to welcoming the designer brands who drove Neiman Marcus’ sales to their own stores in the retail center,” according to a statement from a Related spokesperson provided to CNBC. “This opens up a great opportunity to create incredibly attractive office space with the largest floor plates available in New York City, a private ground-floor entrance, and 18-foot-high ceilings at 20 Hudson Yards.”