OK, So Maybe Luxury Is Dead

In light of Neiman Marcus reporting a quarterly net loss of $509.2 million this morning, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how the high-end Dallas-based retailer is attempting to survive what remains of the economy -- besides laying off employees, reducing its inventory and writing down the value of its assets.

Karen W. Katz, Neiman Marcus chief executive of stores, said in an interview Monday that the chain has recently changed its marketing approach, to increase direct mailings to its customers, and to offer shoppers "different kinds of incentives to come into the store."

Last week, for instance, it offered $500 gift card for those who brought into the store their gently worn suits for donation to charity. It also sent some of its regular customers a $50 "perk" card to use toward alterations, and offered $200 off designer handbags priced at $750 or more, in a promo that begins March 20.

For those digging for deals, this reminder: Neimans' Web site allows you to search items based upon the percentage of discount being offered. Right now, it starts at 60 percent off. As always, keep in mind the words of Neimans CEO and president, Burt Tansky: "Luxury is not dead."

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