Neiman Marcus is exiting its bankruptcy with a smaller workforce.
Significant staff cuts at both its Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores have started this week. The company wouldn’t say how many people are permanently losing jobs.
“We plan to separate from selling and nonselling associates,” the Dallas-based luxury retailer said in an emailed statement. “These are difficult decisions we must make at this time, and we are so grateful for our dedicated stores associates.”
The company was able to shed $4 billion in burdensome debt as a result of its bankruptcy reorganization, but the pandemic left it a smaller business. It’s going to take a couple of years for sales to recover to its pre-pandemic level of almost $5 billion a year.
Before it filed for bankruptcy in May, Neiman Marcus had more than 14,000 employees. That’s dropped by at least a couple of thousand as the company closed 17 Last Call stores and eliminated corporate jobs tied to the discount chain.
As part of its reorganization, it rejected seven full-line Neiman Marcus store leases and has been closing those stores, resulting in permanent job losses.
Some locations are already closed, including Hudson Yards in New York City, which had only been open since March 2019. Two stores in Florida, in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and its store in Washington, D.C., have also closed.
Neiman Marcus hasn’t reopened its store in Honolulu, and it notified the state of a permanent “mass layoff” this week, saying there’s no realistic prospect for store revenue to recover to a sustainable level in the foreseeable future. The last day of work for the Hawaii staff is Thursday, but they will receive pay and benefits through Nov. 25.
At the same time it is cutting jobs, the company is redefining store jobs, creating “service ambassadors, digital client advisers and personal stylists,” the company said in the statement. The new jobs will “better serve our customers,” the company said. “This is reflective of our unique integrated retail experience as we continue our path to be the preeminent luxury customer platform.”
Among the staff cuts are workers in store restaurants that have been part of the retailer’s in-store ambiance and a tradition for families, especially during the Christmas shopping season.
The company’s in-store Zodiac, NM Café, Mariposa and Mermaid Bar restaurant operations also have big catering businesses. Since the pandemic started, restaurants have remained closed, and some have operated takeaway service.
“As we did with the reopening of our stores, we look forward to reopening our restaurants again, slowly and safely in phases,” said Amber Seikaly, vice president of corporate communication. “Over time, we’ll be able to rehire many of our talented food and beverage associates and add more staffing based on business needs.”
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