Neiman Marcus to test boutique

  1. Neiman Marcus to test boutique

    Cusp will sell cheaper apparel and accessories to young women

    July 5, 2006

    The Dallas Morning News

    After months of speculation, Neiman Marcus Group said Wednesday that it's about to open a new type of store.

    Cusp – as in on the edge or in the forefront of fashion – is a boutique for younger shoppers with slimmer wallets.

    Four pilot stores will open in the next several months, the Dallas-based luxury chain confirmed Wednesday: two in the Washington area and one in Los Angeles. One location hasn't been announced, but there are no plans for a Dallas store while the concept is tested, a spokeswoman said.

    Cusp will sell women's contemporary apparel, handbags and shoes at lower prices than a Neiman Marcus store.

    "There's growth in the contemporary fashion category, and some customers prefer boutique shopping, so we wanted to see if we can do it better," said Ginger Reeder, Neiman Marcus vice president.

    Cusp will target women ages 21 to 45, but it's "not just for a chronologically younger woman," she said.

    "It's about a younger mindset. It's for a person who isn't about one designer head to toe. It's for a person who likes to mix and match."

    The stores will have polished concrete floors and exposed ceilings, and merchandise will be grouped "by key looks," she said. "All the red bags or all the hobo bags might be together."

    The store's eclectic mix will include jewelry and some books and music.

    Cusp will carry a few higher-priced luxury items, but selectively, Ms. Reeder said.

    "We may carry two or three styles of Manolo Blahnik shoes or a handbag that's priced higher."

    The new concept has been a secret project for two years as the chain said it was looking for ways to expand its business.

    Cusp isn't an answer to Barneys Co-op stores, Ms. Reeder said. "We think it's different."

    Barneys New York started opening Co-op stores in early 2005 and now has 10 – in Houston; New York; Miami; Chicago; Atlanta; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Washington's Georgetown area; and Chevy Chase, Md.

    Co-op is also for younger shoppers but caters to men and women. In the spring, Barneys plans to open Co-ops in Austin and Los Angeles.

    The Cusp test stores will be in various types of retail developments. The first opens in late July in 9,500 square feet in the Tyson's Corner mall outside Washington.

    In early August, an 8,000-square-foot store will open in Century City in Los Angeles, and an 11,000-square-foot location will open in February in Georgetown. The fourth store will open soon after that.

    Neiman Marcus was acquired last year by private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus.
  2. i dont get it - is it like a Neimans except its smaller and carries their lower priced items?
  3. Innnnteresting, I hope that means that the attitudes of certain snobby SAs will also be tailored to be less condescending !
  4. ^^ I find this interesting too. I would have to see this for myself.
  5. I wonder if they are going to accept visa and mastercard? Probably the main reason I don't do much shoping and Neimans is due to their payment policy.
  6. I am so used to pulling out my MC to pay for everything that I catch myself whipping it out there when I go (which isn't much cuz we live in the stix). It would be nice for them to accept other cards too. :p
  7. It'll probably look like the 5th floor of Bergdorfs - everything you need is on that floor. And if it's more inexpensive than contemporary, this will give a chance for exposure to unknown fashion labels which i :heart:. YAY.. I LOVE IT!!! :wlae:
  8. OMG this rocks! And I live in DC. Thanks for posting. I'd like to see something different from the Co-op but with a similar quirky edge, I just sometimes think the Co-op stuff is way overpriced for the quality - still I just bought a couple of things there this past weekend.
  9. how exciting! i'll have to go up to LA when they open...
    and i guess i'll HAVE to test out the Barney's co-op :p
  10. I think it's interesting hwo they dodn't even thinking of having a location of their new store in NY
  11. ^^^^^ there are too many stores that would be competing w/ IMO. ... there's the co-op, intermix, scoop, searle, cantaloup... sooo many that offer the same thing. Plus i think there's this "rule" that one boutique can carry certain designers/designs and the other neighboring boutiques can't...
  12. I will definitely check it out since there are going to be 2 in my area (I hope they mean Washington D.C.).
  13. Sounds like it could be good. I always think you don't have to put together some extraordinary priced outfit to look extraordinary :smile:
  14. I just went to the one in Tyson's Corner yesterday - its opening day! It's right across from West Elm by all the newer restaurants.

    I went right as the mall was closing, so I didn't get to shop thoroughly through the store. My thoughts are, I don't see this as a cheaper boutique, just that it's out to target a younger (21-45, as the article mentioned) crowd. Oh, and I was very happy to see that they carry a selection of Ediths, Fendi B-bags, YSL Muse, and more. Also, the SAs were EXTREMELY nice and helpful, especially for it being near closing time of their first day. I just asked what colors they had the Muse in, and before I knew it, 4 SAs were hanging around ready to order me a Large Oak... I was looking for the Khaki/Olive one though.

    Overall, I think NM did something right. I think it's a great idea, because I for one, love the feel of shopping in a small boutique, but also want to be able to buy the designers usually found only in the high-scale department stores or designer-specific stores. I'm sooo glad they opened one up in Tyson's. I highly suggest you check it out if you're in the area. I want to hear what other people think. :smile:
  15. ^^^i totally forgot that yesterday was opening day... gotta check it out today... Is it right across from all the restaurants in Tyson1???