Neiman Marcus Site Hopes Less Is More

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Neiman Marcus last month launched Neimanmarcus.com, which it hopes will bring the experience of its physical stores to the Web.


"The fact is that it's clean compared to other online opportunities that are difficult to shop with and visually overloaded," said Steve Kornajcik, senior vice president for creative services at Neiman Marcus, Dallas, TX. "Neimanmarcus.com is like our stores - clean, easy to navigate."


Not all think this design is the way to go.


"It seems big and empty online," said Lisa Allen, senior analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA. "There's not a lot of stuff there. The Toys for Boys section has only one product - a shuffleboard game - in there. They should rename it Toy for Boys. The men's section has three products. They need more merchandise."


Positioned as a platform for traditional Neiman Marcus customers and affluent online shoppers, neimanmarcus.com offers more than 500 products in luxury accessories and apparel, beauty products, home furnishings and holiday gifts for men, women and children.


Among the brands featured are Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada, Polo by Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Escada, Baccarat, Lalique, Waterford, Steven Lagos, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Salvatore Ferragamo.


All products for the online shop are sourced from Neiman Marcus stores and Neiman Marcus by Mail catalog.


"We're leveraging the infrastructure for fulfillment that already exists with the catalog operation," said Kornajcik.


Key features of the site include 360-degree product views, zooming for up-close looks, and a bridal registry in conjunction with Della & James.


Round-the-clock customer assistance will be offered through real-time online chat. Neiman Marcus' InCircle members, who are regular customers of the chain, will have instant access to Personal Shoppers.
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