Thursday, March 12, 2020

[LAST CALL] Neiman Marcus to Close Nearly All Last Call Outlet Stores

Dallas, Texas-based Neiman Marcus announced Wednesday is plans to close nearly all of its Last Call outlet stores to focus on its high-end, full-line business.  The chain currently operates 22 Last Call stores, including one in metro Atlanta at Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville.  The Sugarloaf store opened in 2001 at what was then Discover Mills and was owned at that time by Mills Corporation.  (Mills was purchased by Simon in 2007 and became Sugarloaf Mills in 2012.)  

The company did not disclose which stores it would keep open, but did indicate that the closures would result in the elimination of 500 jobs.  The affected stores are expected to cease operations by the first quarter of the company's fiscal year 2021.  The company also announced that it was letting go 250 "non sales" associates.  

The remaining Last Call outlet stores will reportedly return to their roots and primarily, if not entirely, sell residual, clearance and past-season merchandise from the full-line stores.  

Neiman Marcus has been sharpening its focus on the luxury consumer for the past few years.  In 2017, it closed ten Last Call stores including all of their "studio" stores, outlets which were hawking nearly 100% merchandise produced for their outlets versus having come from a full-line department store.  The 2017 closures including the company's lone "studio" store at Lenox Marketplace on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.  

The 2017 closures left the off-price chain with 28 locations, which in the years since, has been reduced to the current 22 locations following the closures of stores at Orlando Premium Outlets-International Drive in Orlando, among others.  

Ten of the company's 22 remaining Last Call stores are in outlet centers owned by Simon Properties, including the one at Sugarloaf Mills as well as stores at Sawgrass Mills in south Florida, Grapevine Mills in Grapevine, Texas, Katy Mills in Katy, Texas and Las Vegas North Premium Outlets in Las Vegas, among others.  

Neiman Marcus rival Saks Fifth Avenue has also been tweaking its outlet strategy, closing several of their "Off 5th" stores last year.  Nordstrom, seen by many of the leader in the department store outlet game, currently operates nearly 250 "rack" stores and continues to see them as "gateways" of sorts to their more expensive, full-line stores.  Saks and Nordstrom both operate four outlet stores in Georgia, each with stores in Buckhead Station off Lenox Road in Buckhead.  Bloomingdale's, the luxury division of Macy's, operates a total of 19 outlet stores, but thus far has not entered the Atlanta market.  

Are you surprised by Neiman's decision to close most of their Last Call stores?  What are your thoughts on outlet shopping today?  What is your favorite outlet center you have ever visited?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Feels premature

Cody Cargle said...

Honestly Neiman Marcus is not a bad store, but extremely expensive and not for the average person, I never been to Saks Fifth Avenue, to me they are extremely stuck up, where Neiman tones it down with a bakery and other things, Nordstrom’s is really nice, but also expensive as well, Bloomingdales is not bad either, but expensive and sadly Macy’s owns them smh! 🤦🏻‍♂️ But for far as the Last Call stores, I didn’t see a point in it, when the only full line store at Lenox only makes certain amount of business but not enough to open a second location. 🤔

Anonymous said...

Honestly Neiman Marcus is not a bad store, but extremely expensive and not for the average person, I never been to Saks Fifth Avenue, to me they are extremely stuck up, where Neiman tones it down with a bakery and other things, Nordstrom’s is really nice, but also expensive as well, Bloomingdales is not bad either, but expensive and sadly Macy’s owns them smh! 🤦🏻‍♂️ But for far as the Last Call stores, I didn’t see a point in it, when the only full line store at Lenox only makes certain amount of business but not enough to open a second location. 🤔

Codester

Cody Cargle said...

Anonymous on March 14, 2020 at 7:42 PM Can you please get a life and shut the hell up? 😂

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