As Shoppers Go Digital Amid the Pandemic, Here’s How Neiman Marcus Is Adapting Its Services

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Neiman Marcus is expanding its roster of online services as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change the way shoppers engage with retailers.

The luxury department store announced today the launch of a digital hub dubbed Your Neiman’s, where customers can secure personal appointments in stores, set up curbside pickup, learn about trends and designers during virtual events or engage via video with the chain’s stylists.

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“The world is changing, and we’re all adjusting our habits to accommodate the new normal,” president and chief customer officer David Goubert said in a statement. “The comfort and safety of our customers and associates are our utmost priority. We’ve introduced innovative ways to be here for them, now in more ways than ever.”

As state and local governments loosen lockdown restrictions on nonessential businesses, Neiman Marcus is gradually reopening its locations across the country. Over the past month, it debuted contactless options like curbside pickup and allowed customers to scheduled one-on-one appointments to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which has sickened more than 3.85 million people in the United States.

Beyond those services, the Dallas-based company invited shoppers to get matched with its personal stylists for free. By answering questions about their lifestyle, fashion preferences and needs, customers can make use of these complimentary styling services via text, email, video chat or in person. It has also adapted its in-store events — from cooking demonstrations to authentication sessions hosted by its resale partner Fashionphile — for virtual presentations.

What’s more, Neiman Marcus introduced in March — when the outbreak took hold in the U.S. — its proprietary tool NM Connect, which allows customers to communicate with associates at their local outposts, add events to their calendars within the retailer’s app and personalize their own look books.

According to the company, shoppers have purchased more than $60 million worth of products over the past three months through the Connect service alone. “With the launch of digital stylists and remote selling capabilities, we are enabling our associates to engage with and support customers anytime, anywhere,” chief digital officer Katie Mullen said.

Meanwhile, in its physical stores, Neiman Marcus said it has employed enhanced sanitation practices, including disinfecting accessories and steaming apparel before and after try-ons, as well as temporarily discontinuing all beauty services. Its associates, it added, are subject to temperature checks upon arrival for their shifts, while both employees and shoppers are required to wear face coverings in stores.

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the closures of Neiman, Last Call and Bergdorf Goodman banners over the course of several weeks, starting around late March. Following widespread bankruptcy speculation, the debt-saddled company went bankrupt two months ago. It managed to secure $675 million in financing from creditors to continue operations during the proceedings.

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