Direct Sales Fall for Neiman Marcus

Fourth-quarter direct marketing sales for luxury goods merchant Neiman Marcus Group, which mails the Neiman Marcus and Horchow apparel and home decor catalogs, fell 22%, to 140.0 million, compared to $170.7 million last year. In addition to the flagship retail chain, the company owns New York’s high-end Bergdorf Goodman store.

For the fourth quarter ended Aug. 1, total company revenue for the fourth quarter decreased 25%, to $768 million, compared to $1.03 billion in the fourth quarter last year. Net loss for the quarter was $168.5 million, compared with a net loss of $35.6 million last year.

For fiscal year 2009, Neiman’s direct marketing sales slipped 13%, to $652.0 million from $747.5 million. Total sales for the year decreased 21%, to $3.64 billion down from $4.60 billion. For fiscal year 2009, net loss was $668.0 million compared to net income of $142.8 million in fiscal 2008.

Chairman/CEO Burton M. Tansky said in a release that fiscal 2009 was a challenging year for the company. “We tightly managed our expenses, resulting in a total reduction of $183 million, which included the elimination of approximately $100 million of non-variable costs from our expense structure this year,” he said. “We also aggressively reduced our inventory levels to be more in line with demand, ending the year with 23% less merchandise than last year.”