Neiman Marcus Launches ‘Affluent Platform’ On The Web

Retail giant Neiman Marcus (NYSE: NMG) announced the launch of an e-commerce Web site today that will offer apparel, accessories, home furnishing and holiday gifts to upscale buyers.

The new site will also offer an array of customer service support features, including 24-hour instantaneous customer assistance, real-time online chats, and zoom for close-ups of products.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Neiman Marcus will debut with 500 items selected from Neiman Marcus stores and the Neiman Marcus by Mail catalog. Additional products will be added continuously.

Targeting Affluent Users

Although launched as a product-based Web site, the company plans to develop the site into a content and product platform. “Our ultimate goal is to establish the Neiman Marcus brand as the premier lifestyle platform for affluent consumers on the Internet in terms of content and e-commerce infrastructure,” said Robert A. Smith, co-CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group.

“To make sure our e-commerce Web site was consistent with Neiman Marcus standards, we worked with the best online creative talent and our internal resources to select a unique assortment of merchandise not widely available on the Web,” said Burton M. Tansky, president and COO of The Neiman Marcus Group and chairman and CEO of Neiman Marcus Stores. “The end result is an elegant and modern site that makes the online shopping experience very enjoyable.”

Customer Assistance Features Abound

Customer assistance features on the site include NM Virtual Studio, a bridal registry, Personal Shopper, real-time e-chat help, 24-hour phone assistance, store and catalog purchasing, plus the InCircle and the Brief newsletters.

The NM Virtual Studio enables the shopper to select a product, and have Neiman Marcus photograph and post the item at a unique Web site for two weeks for closer inspection. The site can also be used by catalog buyers who wish to utilize the site to purchase items in Neiman Marcus by Mail.

In addition to the shopping services, the site features editorial information that will be continually updated and refreshed. The October launch includes products designed by Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan and Ermenegildo Zegna.

This month, Neiman Marcus also launched a Web marketing campaign to announce the arrival of the site. The campaign spans both online and offline advertising and promotions that include offline sponsorships and partnerships with online companies that reach the company’s target audience.

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