Amid Bankruptcy, Could Neiman Marcus Pull Out of Hudson Yards?

Samantha McDonald

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As it undergoes restructuring, Neiman Marcus could downsize its three-level store at New York City’s sprawling Hudson Yards development — or even exit entirely from the shopping and entertainment center.

The Dallas-based luxury retailer, which went bankrupt last month after weeks of speculation during the coronavirus pandemic, is in the midst of conceiving a business plan that potentially includes trimming its brick-and-mortar fleet.

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In mid-March, the COVID-19 health crisis forced the department store chain to temporarily shutter all doors across its Neiman Marcus, Last Call and Bergdorf Goodman banners — including its three-level, 188,000-square-foot anchor space at The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, which opened to much fanfare in March 2019.

In a statement to FN, Neiman Marcus did not explicitly deny or confirm the potential shutdown of its NYC flagship.

“Our restructuring plan is focused on alleviating our debt load, not mass store closures. We are confident in the performance of our overall store footprint,” a Neiman Marcus Group spokesperson said. “That said, we always assess our stores based on our footprint to ensure it is optimal to enhance revenues and overall profitability, as well as how each store can best support our omnichannel strategy.”

The spokesperson added, “Any related discussions with landlords are confidential.”

What’s more, The Related Companies, which owns Hudson Yards, has been been searching for alternative tenants in case Neiman Marcus opts to vacate the mixed-use building.

Neiman Marcus has reopened 13 outposts so far since the COVID-19 health crisis forced their closures. It announced plans to reopen seven more locations this week and more in the coming weeks in accordance with state and local guidelines.

The coronavirus outbreak is only one of several hurdles the retailer has faced in recent years: In its quest for profitability, Neiman Marcus has struggled amid digital disruption and reduced foot traffic. In August 2018, the chain announced a four-year transformation plan centered on omnichannel and supply chain technology investments. It also embraced the growing resale trend through a minority stake in consignment company Fashionphile and was able to rework some of its debt last year in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy.

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