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June 24, 2013

Neiman Marcus plans to raise up to $100M in IPO

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Dan Hess, CEO of Merchant Forecast, an independent research firm that monitors the retail sector, believes that an initial public offering would do well and that there's an investor appetite for luxury companies.

Neiman Marcus, founded in 1907 by Herbert Marcus Sr., his sister Carrie Marcus, and her husband A.L Neiman, has had a series of owners during its rich history.

The company was sold to department store operator Broadway-Hale in 1969 and began planning national expansion outside of Texas. Through a series of deals, the retailer came under the ownership of the conglomerate Harcourt General, which also published textbooks and owned movie theaters.

In 1999, Harcourt General spun off Neiman Marcus stores and Bergdorf Goodman as its separate, publicly traded entity, the Neiman Marcus Group. In 2005, the current owners took the company private.

Neiman Marcus has a long-held reputation for coddling its wealthy shoppers with customer service that goes above and beyond the standard. In 1984, it established InCircle, the industry's first customer loyalty program. The program now has 144,000 members and generated 40 percent of the company's total revenue in the latest fiscal year. Neiman Marcus expanded its business online in 2000, becoming the first major luxury store to do so.

Now, like other upscale retailers, Neiman Marcus is trying to reinvent its shopping experience for its customers who are increasingly using their tablets and smartphones to research and buy their designer goods.

In the filing, Neiman Marcus says it plans to further meld the online experience with shopping at its stores. It also plans to expand its Last Call and Cusp chains.

In the SEC filing, Neiman Marcus Inc. did not disclose how many shares would be offered, or what the projected price range would be. A regulatory filing by the company also did not disclose what exchange it expects to list the stock on or what ticker symbol it plans to use.

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