Neiman Marcus Goes After the Global Luxury Set
Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, which currently only operates department and outlet stores in the U.S., recently announced a deal to buy the Munich, Germany-based Mytheresa.com, an online luxury fashion platform from founders Christoph and Susanne Botschen and Acton Capital Partners.
According to Fortune, the acquisition is Neiman’s latest move to cater to the wealthy around the world without opening new physical stores. The acquisition will also bring Neiman into direct competition with global online luxury retailers like Net-a-Porter and The Corner, which is owned by Italian e-commerce site Yoox Group. Neiman Marcus is also buying Theresa’s flagship store in central Munich, as part of a deal whose terms weren't disclosed.
Mytheresa.com was launched in 2006 and has, along with the flagship, annual sales of about $130 million. It sells clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories by more than 170 international top designers. About two-thirds of Mytheresa’s revenue comes from outside of Germany.
The Mytheresa.com deal takes it up a notch for Neiman Marcus, whose CEO, Karen Katz, has made no secret of her international ambitions for the brand.
“This acquisition is an important component of our long-range strategy to more broadly serve affluent customers around the world," Katz told Women's Wear Daily. "Mytheresa has a very nice foothold in Europe and a developing foothold in Asia."
The Mytheresa.com acquisition comes on the heels of Neiman’s announcement earlier this month that it's opening a flagship store in Manhattan in 2018. That store will play a key role in building Neiman’s international clientele.
The store, which will be the anchor in the new Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manahttan, was chosen because of demographics that show that “the growth and population on the west side and southwest side of the city is growing much faster than other parts of the city,” Katz told the Fashion Times. “Our expectation is that it becomes a tourist destination with a good mix of West Siders, people who also live downtown and international tourists."
Neiman Marcus is smart to look toward the luxury global market as a growth area. Worldwide sales of personal luxury goods (e.g., clothes and shoes but not travel) were estimated to rise 4 percent to 6 percent in 2014, according to the "Global Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Spring 2014 Update," published by Bain & Company, an advisor to the global luxury goods industry, and Italian luxury industry association Altagamma.