Neiman Marcus Group recently paid tribute to Earth Day by announcing the development of its first Environmental and Social Governance, Strategy and Corporate Improvement (ESG) team.
“Today more than ever, environmental sustainability is at the forefront of the fashion and retail industries,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group. “As a pre-eminent luxury customer platform, it is our responsibility to act and address sustainability issues for our associates, customers, investors and the future of our great business. “
The new ESG team consists of a vice president and two directors who report to Neiman Marcus Group’s (NMG) Chief People & Belonging Officer, Eric Severson. The team will also report quarterly to the Neiman Marcus Board of Directors. The cross-functional governance model will help the team engage leaders and working groups across the business, ensuring that ESG is embedded in all of Neiman Marcus’ activities.
The team’s first task, already underway, is to set up an evaluation by independent third-party consultants. The objective? To highlight the importance of various ESG issues for the company and key external stakeholders.
The group will then use the results of this survey to identify key ESG priorities, set time-bound targets, invest in new opportunities and publish a full strategy later in the year.
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To complement this announcement, the group celebrated Earth Day earlier this month by hosting an event with Elizabeth Cline, author of ‘The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good’, sharing the improvements being made in sustainability. sharing ongoing improvements in sustainability.
Investing in supply chain efficiency
Indeed, in January 2021, in order to streamline its supply chain, Neiman Marcus entered into two agreements for the sale of its Longview and Las Colinas distribution centres, which will remain operational until the 2021 holiday season and remain open until autumn 2022 respectively.
“We intend to use the proceeds from these sales to reinvest in our supply chain, improving our speed of access to customers and speed of replenishment, adding additional capacity in key markets and investing in technologies that increase both efficiency and sustainability,” said van Raemdonck.
Improving the connection of customers with sustainable and ethical goods
Customers can already buy conscious brands and products on Neiman Marcus’ Sustainable Style website. In the coming months, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman will unveil new classifications for sustainable and ethical luxury fashion. The aim? To clarify the definitions of ethical fashion and to rely heavily on the choice of materials, processes and independently recognised certifications.
“Our new flexible merchandising structure will celebrate the diverse and innovative approaches of the brand’s partners to sustainability and allow discerning customers to purchase the product attributes that matter most to them,” said van Raemdonck.
Enhancing the customer experience through repair services
As a reminder, Neiman Marcus generated over $10 million in revenue in 2019 from repair services for over 320,000 items.
To note, the group employs over 300 of the world’s best tailors, and when it comes to mending and alterations, there is no “no” in their vocabulary. Their extensive list of services includes basic tasks such as repairing holes and replacing zips, as well as more complex alterations and customisations.
“Everything they do is designed to extend the life cycle of customers’ most cherished luxury items,” van Raemdonck said. “This service is not only sustainable, it’s a key factor in the customer experience and loyalty of our most spendy customers.”
Investing in the circular economy
As a reminder, Neiman Marcus became the first luxury retailer in 2019 to make a long-term investment in resale by acquiring a minority stake in FASHIONPHILE, one of the world’s leading retailers of pre-owned luxury handbags and accessories.
Since then, the partnership has resulted in the opening of five FASHIONPHILE boutiques in Neiman Marcus shops (Palo Alto, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Fashion Island, NorthPark Dallas), collecting nearly 16 million dollars in resale proceeds for over 18,000 items.
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Over the next nine months, FASHIONPHILE Selling Studios will open 10 additional locations at Neiman Marcus shops in Boca Raton, King of Prussia, Atlanta, Austin, Scottsdale, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Topanga, Troy and Northbrook.
The partnership enables the launch of a network of stylists, superior service that allows customers to leverage their previous investments and increase their buying power in shops by providing more than 3,000 Neiman Marcus sales associates with the opportunity to offer complementary offerings.
The new Stylist Network service includes a multi-client management tool, account and customer reports, order management and dashboards to view all interactions with each customer.
“Today more than ever, the consumer is a conscientious buyer. They are not only looking for a quality item at the right price, they are thinking about the investment they are making and the sustainability of their purchase,” said Sarah Davis, founder and president of FASHIONPHILE. “Neiman Marcus has been the perfect partner for FASHIONPHILE as we look for more innovative ways to engage with customers. ”
Photo à la Une : © Presse / © Fashionphile / © Elysabeth Cline / © Neiman Marcus
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