Outlet stores

Most Last Call outlet stores are closing

The Dallas-based company said Wednesday that a “majority” of its 22 Last Call stores in the United States will close in the fall as it focuses on selling luxury at full price. Some stores will remain open to sell leftover Neiman Marcus inventory rather than buying new merchandise. The company has yet to decide which Last Call locations will close.

Around 500 jobs will be cut in Last Call, but some employees will be placed in other roles within the company. Another 250 managerial positions will be cut in Neiman Marcus stores as part of the company’s goal to “develop its luxury clientele”. Two distribution warehouses in Texas are also closing.

Neiman Marcus has 43 locations in the United States and also owns Bergdorf Goodman.

The changes within Last Call and Neiman Marcus are intended to drive “accelerated profitable and sustainable growth,” CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck said in a press release. He said the brand is also stepping up its digital efforts as shoppers change their online habits.

The closure of Last Call by Neiman Marcus goes against the trend of department stores which are increasingly turning to the discount sector. Cheaper competitors, like TJMaxx (TJX), Marshall and Target (TGT) continue to increase sales as buyers seek deep discounts. It squeezed department stores, forcing them to lower the prices of clothes or put them on sale, which weighed on profits.
To help attract customers, retailers are opening discount stores. Nordstrom Rack expands and Macy’s (M) Backstage opened in 2015 and recently announced it is adding the concept to some of its department stores.