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Neiman’s: Luxury customer won’t compromise

Dallas – Despite worries of a weakening economy, Neiman Marcus’ core customer is expected to shop on, executives told analysts during this morning’s year-end conference call.

“The luxury consumer will remain a luxury consumer. She will not vacate the idea of buying quality, luxury, the most current fashion and style,” said Burt Tansky, ceo. “She may buy less, but she will never vacate the idea that that’s part of her interest.”

But even Neiman is not immune from some macro trends. Sales of home merchandise among its luxury nameplates have experienced the slackness seen elsewhere in retail. “We’ve taken a great deal of time to try to understand what the industry’s going through, and we seem to experiencing about the same as the industry,” said Tansky.

For the fourth quarter ended July 28, Neiman narrowed its net loss to $15.9 million vs. a loss of $42 million in the year-earlier period. Sales climbed 9.4% to $981.7 million, with comps rising 7%.

For the fiscal year, Neiman's loss expanded $111.9 million from a loss of $56.6 million a year ago. Sales jumped 10% $4.4 billion, with a comp gain 6.7%.

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