Neiman Marcus

   This specialty store was established in 1907 by Herbert Marcus, his sister, Carrie Marcus, and her husband, Abraham L. (Al) Neiman, in Dallas, Texas. All three of the founders had retail experience: Herbert had been a buyer for Sanger Brothers, Carrie was an assistant buyer for A. Harris and Co. (Sanger and Harris were the two leading department stores in Dallas at the time), and Al worked at Harris in sales. Naming the store Neiman Marcus, the founders set out to create a specialty store featuring high-end women's outerwear and millinery. After a fire destroyed the first store in 1913, they reopened within seventeen days at another Dallas location and developed a reputation for high prices and high quality. The clientele consisted of wealthy cotton aristocrats and, later, oil-rich Texans.
   In 1926, Herbert's son Stanley entered the business and, in 1928, Neiman sold his interest in the business for $250,000 when his marriage to Carrie ended in divorce. In 1930, the discovery of the East Texas oilfield brought a new group of millionaires to the store and despite the effects of the Great Depression elsewhere in the country, Neiman Marcus's business boomed. In 1934, the store was the first retailer outside of New York City to advertise in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and, in 1938, it created the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion, the "Oscar" of fashion. In 1939, Stanley Marcus created the famous Christmas catalog tradition, another of his marketing ploys to bring visibility to the store.
   After World War II, the store began to add branches. Another store was opened in Dallas and then in Ft. Worth and Houston. Upon Herbert's death in 1950, son Stanley became president. After a devastating fire in 1964 at one of the Dallas stores, Neiman's merged with California-based Broadway-Hale stores in 1969 and, shortly after, with another group to form Carter Hawley Hale Incorporated. Stanley became a top executive at Carter Hawley Hale, while his son Richard was appointed president of Neiman Marcus. After 1971, stores opened in over thirty cities across the United States. In 1987, General Cinema became the majority shareholder and Allen I. Questron succeeded Richard Marcus as president.
   Neiman Marcus's reputation in the retail community is unparalleled with its number of innovations. It was the first to mount a national ad campaign; the first to produce a luxury direct mail catalog featuring items such as his-and-hers airplanes and private yachts; the first to establish an annual fashion award; the first to begin its "fortnights" concept in 1957 featuring merchandise and cultural exhibitions from other nations (which Bloomingdale's and other stores later copied) and the concept of "selling the store"; and the first to explore a real branding of a retail store. In 1984, Neiman's introduced the InCircle program, offering an array of extraordinary gifts for its most-valued customers and, in 1988, the Horchow Collection became part of Neiman Marcus. In 1999, neimanmarcus.com debuted, becoming the first luxury online retail website and, in 2002, the fashion industry mourned the death of Stanley Marcus.
   While the company passed through several hands during the last twenty years, the headquarters are still located in Dallas. The Neiman Marcus Group is comprised of the specialty-retail-stores division, which includes Neiman Marcus Stores, Bergdorf Goodman, and the direct marketing division, Neiman Marcus Direct. The company operates two Bergdorf Goodman stores in New York City and thirty-seven Neiman Marcus stores across the country. The company is also known for its "chocolate chip cookie urban legend," whereby a woman was supposedly charged a substantial amount on her credit card for the recipe (proven to be false) and in retaliation posted the recipe for all to see. In an effort to capitalize on the legend, Neiman's lists the recipe on its website, another example of its marketing savvy. By 1996, Neiman Marcus Group revenues topped $2 billion, and by 2004, $3.44 billion. In 1998, Neiman's bought a 51 percent interest in Laura Mercier cosmetics and, in 1999, a 56 percent share of accessories designer Kate Spade, another first for a retail organization. In 2005, the Neiman Marcus Group was sold to Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus.
   See also Department store.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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  • Neiman Marcus — Tipo Tienda por departamento Fundación 1907 …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Neiman Marcus — (also Neiman’s) a very expensive department store with branches in many major US cities. The original shop was opened in Dallas, Texas, in 1907 by Carrie Neiman and her brother Herbert Marcus. The company’s Christmas Catalog is famous for… …   Universalium

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  • Neiman Marcus Fashion Award — The Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion was a yearly award created in 1938 by Stanley Marcus. Unlike the Coty Award, it was not limited to American based fashion designers.[1] Recipients of the Neiman Marcus… …   Wikipedia

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