As part of a plan to focus on what it does best, Dallas' Neiman Marcus Group will close some of its 22 Last Call discount stores, with the closures taking place by October 31.
According to a release, the closures come as the company focuses on growing its luxury customer base and driving full-price selling, to more intensely invest in its Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores.
The exact Last Call locations closing are still to be determined. A few select Last Call stores will remain open to sell leftover inventory.
There are two Last Call stores in the Austin area: the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center and the San Marcos Premium Outlets.
A spokesperson clarifies that the company is exiting "direct purchase" of Last Call merchandise, stating that "we plan to keep select doors open to serve as a selling channel for residual inventory-only from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman."
In plain English, "direct purchase" is new clothes bought specifically to stock at Last Call stores. "Residual inventory" is marked-down stuff from the retailer's 43 Neiman Marcus stores and two Bergdorf Goodman stores.
The Last Call locations in Austin, Grapevine, and Katy all sell both direct purchase and residual. Austin was the original Last Call store.
The Last Call locations in Preston and Inwood Village are direct purchase only. Rut-roh.
In 2017, Neiman Marcus closed 10 Last Call locations, including a Horchow store in Plano.
In a statement, Neiman Marcus Group CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck says they're making "purposeful decisions" to keep the company profitable and sustainable.
"The customer is at the center of everything we do and that focus is the reason why NMG continues to perform on plan," he says. "We are building a solid luxury customer base and taking deliberate steps today to align Neiman Marcus' in-store and online teams, revisiting how we deploy our resources by investing in our supply chain, and streamlining Last Call."
Part of their plan is to shift some sales tasks to new digital tools. In this transformation, the company will "separate from" approximately 250 non-selling associates across all stores. Neiman Marcus Brand Experience Experts, your days are numbered.
Multiple new roles will be created to prioritize the focus on team and client development.
"We are operating from a place of strength with a loyal luxury customer base, dedicated retail experts, a solid store footprint, and a growing online presence," says chief retail office David Goubert in a statement. "Bringing our stores and online teams together and equipping them with the best leadership, tools, and support positions us to deliver on our commitment to building long-term, deep customer relationships."
The store closures will eliminate approximately 500 roles in the Last Call organization over the next eight months. Some associates will be placed in other roles. Others will be eligible for severance, outplacement services, as well as have an opportunity to apply for other open positions within NMG.
They'll also sell two distribution centers located in Las Colinas and Longview, Texas.