October 2, 2013, 11:26 AM

Neiman Marcus makes free standard shipping ‘permanent’

Free standard shipping also applies to international shoppers spending $100 or more.

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Luxury goods chain retailer Neiman Marcus have given online shoppers what it calls “permanent” free shipping and returns.

Yesterday Neiman Marcus, No. 39 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, announced that online shoppers on NeimanMarcus.com and BergdorfGoodman.com will receive free standard shipping and returns. International shoppers spending $100 or more also will get free standard shipping.

Standard shipping is free on orders placed each day after noon central, the retailer says. The standard delivery time will be three to five business days. "The customer has always been at the center of the Neiman Marcus business model,” says chief marketing officer Wanda Gierhart. “Permanent free shipping and returns have been a top request and we are happy to be able to make this change just in time for the holiday shopping season."

Neiman Marcus also is making faster shipping from its e-commerce sites easier for store shoppers, the retailer says. Sales associates in Neiman Marcus’ network of 41 Neiman Marcus stores and two Bergdorf Goodman stores now have mobile web-enabled iPads to work with shoppers on issues related to alterations, merchandise delivery and new items of interest. Shoppers also can have beauty items replenished and automatically shipped and web shoppers can use a Find in Store Button to locate products at a particular store.

The summer has brought changes for Neiman Marcus. For instance, on Sept. 9, private-equity firms TPG Global LLC and Warburg Pincus LLC, which co-own Neiman Marcus Group Inc., announced they have reached an agreement to sell the luxury retailer to Ares Management LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $6 billion. The retailer says it expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter.

For the fiscal year ended Aug. 3, Neiman Marcus reported:

  • Online sales of $1.03 billion, up 17.2% from $878.8 million in fiscal 2012.
  • Total sales were $4.65 billion, an increase of about 7.0% from $4.35 billion last year.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 4.9%.
  • Net earnings increased 16.8% to $163.7 million from $140.1 million.
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