FASHIONPHILE and Neiman's are launching an elevated white glove service to improve the digital consumer experience.
In 2019, Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) acquired a minority stake in FASHIONPHILE, a reseller of pre-owned luxury handbags and accessories. Since then, Neiman Marcus and FASHIONPHILE have been working to revolutionize recommerce. The partnership has seen five FASHIONPHILE locations open in Neiman Marcus stores (Palo Alto, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Fashion Island, NorthPark Dallas), collecting nearly $16 million in resale merchandise for over 18,000 items – extending products' lifecycles and diverting them from landfill. In the next nine months, FASHIONPHILE Selling Studios will open 10 more locations inside Neiman Marcus stores in Boca Raton, King of Prussia, Atlanta, Austin, Scottsdale, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Topanga, Troy, and Northbrook.
The new Stylist Network gives over 3,000 Neiman Marcus sales associates an addition to their remote selling digital tools. The Stylist Network includes a multi-client management tool, account and client reporting, commission management, and dashboards for visualizing next steps across clients.
"Today more than ever, the consumer is a conscientious shopper,” said Sarah Davis, founder and president of FASHIONPHILE. “She's not only looking for a quality item at the right price, but she is thoughtful about the investment she is making and the sustainability of the purchase. Neiman Marcus has been the perfect partner for FASHIONPHILE as we pursue more innovative ways to engage with customers."
As NMG continues its transformation to become the world's pre-eminent luxury customer platform, it is committed to developing sustainable practices. The retailer also just announced the development of the company's first Environmental Social Governance (ESG) team.
"Now more than ever, environmental sustainability is top of mind for the fashion and retail industries," said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO, Neiman Marcus Group. "As the preeminent luxury customer platform, it's our responsibility to take action and address sustainability issues for our associates, customers, investors, and the future of our great company."
The new ESG team spearheading the company's approach to these issues consists of a vice president and two managers that report in to NMG's chief people & belonging officer Eric Severson, with quarterly oversight from NMG's board of directors. A cross-functional governance model will help the small team engage leaders and taskforces across the company, ensuring that ESG is infused into all parts of NMG's business.
The group's first task, already underway, is collaborating with independent, third-party consultants to conduct a materiality assessment that highlights the importance of various ESG issues to the business and key external stakeholders. NMG will use findings from this survey to identify key ESG priorities, set time-bound goals, invest in competitive opportunities, and publish a comprehensive strategy later this year.
Additionally, in January 2021, in an effort to streamline its distribution network, NMG closed on two offers on its Longview and Las Colinas distribution facilities, which will respectively remain operational through the 2021 holiday season and stay open into fall 2022.
"We intend to use the proceeds from these sales to reinvest in our supply chain, improving our speed to customer and speed of replenishment, adding additional capacity in key markets, and investing in technology that increases both efficiency and sustainability," said van Raemdonck.
Customers can also currently shop conscious brands and products on Neiman Marcus' Sustainable Style edit. In the coming months, both Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman are developing revised edits that feature multiple categories within sustainable and ethical luxury fashion, provide clarity around those categories' definitions, and rely heavily on independently recognized materials, processes, and certifications.
"Our new, flexible merchandising structure will honor the diverse and innovative sustainability approaches among brand partners and enable discerning customers to shop the product attributes they care about most," said van Raemdonck.
NMG also employs more than 300 tailors and generated over $10 MM in revenue from mending and alterations services for over 320,000 items in 2019. Their extensive list of services includes basic tasks like mending holes and replacing zippers to more intricate alterations and customization.
"Everything they do is designed to extend the lifecycle of customers' most-loved luxury items," said van Raemdonck. "This service is not only sustainable, it's a key driver of customer experience and loyalty with our top spend clients."