- Wanda Gierhart, Neiman Marcus Group’s chief marketing officer, will soon resign her post “to focus on other interests,” according to the company.
- Since joining Neiman Marcus in 2009, Gierhart has directed all of the company’s marketing initiatives, including the introduction of an omnichannel mobile app that offers personal assistance to shoppers.
- Gierhart will assist Neiman’s in finding and hiring her replacement.
Wanda Gierhart, who has directed all marketing functions for Neiman Marcus Group’s Neiman Marcus, Neiman Marcus Direct and Bergdorf Goodman brands since 2009, will soon be exiting the company.
An alum of Design Within Reach and Limited Stores, Gierhart spearheaded new omnichannel initiatives such as free shipping and returns for online orders, as well as the chain’s Snap.Find.Shop. visual search app. She also brainstormed creative strategies designed to bring in younger shoppers, like event installations at conferences such as South by Southwest.
The Gierhart announcement follows just weeks after Neiman Marcus reported a 2.3% drop in Q2 revenue to $1.49 billion, compared to $1.52 billion year over year, its first holiday sales decline since the recession. Second quarter same-store sales fell 2.4%, and sales during the holiday period ending Jan. 30 fell 2.1%.
While Neiman Marcus did better during the holidays than it did in the previous quarter, its decline is another sign of tough times facing luxury and department stores. Many department stores posted similar lackluster results for the holiday season, including Nordstrom and Macy's, which also announced that it would cut 4,800 jobs after a disappointing Q4.
Department store retailers have given mostly the same excuses for unfavorable holiday seasons: Unseasonably warm weather and a strong dollar. For Neiman Marcus, the roiled stock market also helped dissuade upscale shoppers from purchasing.