Neiman Marcus buys Seattle tech company that helps it mix stores and online shopping
Neiman Marcus is buying a Seattle-based tech company that has helped it step up its distance selling during the pandemic and said it plans to make several additional investments to build its capacity.
The Dallas-based luxury retailer said on Tuesday it would acquire Stylyze Inc., a developer of a machine-learning sales platform, but did not disclose a price. Neiman Marcus said the acquisition is part of a three-year plan to invest more than $ 500 million to help strengthen its digital business, which also includes moving its warehouse operations from Irving to Pinnacle. Dallas Park.
The reorganization of the bankruptcy of Neiman Marcus completed last year facilitates the pursuit of the digital strategy. At the end of April, Neiman Marcus had a debt of $ 1.1 billion against $ 5.1 billion a year ago before his financial restructuring. The company gave a preview of its new flexibility: $ 850 million in cash compared to $ 132 million at the same time last year. He also has a $ 900 million line of credit that he has not used.
Neiman Marcus has worked with Stylyze since 2018, and is a major company behind the retailer’s “Connect” distance selling platform that more than 3,000 store stylists use to integrate digital with physical purchases.
Since the launch of Connect, sellers have completed more than 5 million engagement sessions and placed hundreds of thousands of orders on the platform. Neiman Marcus stepped up use of the tool when his stores were closed during the pandemic.
“We knew the rebound was coming, and we are experiencing the return of luxury as it accelerates,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus. “By acquiring Stylyze, we will be able to advance our integrated luxury strategy, building long-term relationships with our luxury customers. “
Comparable sales for the retailer’s fiscal third quarter that ended in April were flat compared to 2019 and ahead of plan. While achieving pre-pandemic sales performance, e-commerce sales have grown 35% from a historic level of around 30%. About 12 million customers per month visit NM.com, and the retailer added 263,000 new customers in the third quarter.
Although there is more competition than a few years ago, from brands selling direct to consumers and reselling luxury goods, van Raemdonck said Neiman Marcus is still the biggest trading company. luxury electronics in the United States and where customer service must excel. online and in stores.
That’s why he’s considering making acquisitions that will give him proprietary tools, he said. “Luxury is not a self-service model, and great service can also be delivered digitally, and we are finding ways to equip our associates.”
The average store salesperson Neiman Marcus has been with the business for nine years and sells merchandise for $ 750,000 a year, he said, as they’ve built relationships with customers.
The acquisition of Stylyze is expected to be finalized this fall.
Kristen Miller, CEO and co-founder of Stylyze, said her staff were ready to quickly develop “unique and distinct digitally-enabled” services for the retailer.
Bob Kupbens, director of product and technology at Neiman Marcus, said the two companies now have a “common alignment” and plan to explore the integration of Connect with other digital tools, including e-commerce, mobile applications, messaging, chat and phone calls.
Having Miller and his team with Kupbens, who before joining Neiman Marcus in February had worked in customer experience at Apple, eBay and Delta Airlines, makes it easier to recruit Neiman Marcus, said van Raemdonck. “Talent attracts talent. “
Looking for more business coverage? Click here to read all retail news and updates. Click here to subscribe to D-FW Retail and more newsletters from The morning news from Dallas.