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>> In a reminder of how tough it is to be in the department store business these days, upscale retailer, Neiman Marcus is considering putting the whole company on the sales rack. The luxury store operator announcing Tuesday that it is exploring how to move forward in the future, and that includes putting itself up for sale.
Things seeming to go from bad to worse for the company, also behind the Bergdorf-Goodman stores. Sales dropping more than six percent the past three months, due to an operations snafu at a new merchandising and distribution system. The mishap coming just two months after Neiman Marcus lost the courage to go ahead with the Wall Street IPO, and remains under private equity ownership.
Money it could have desperately used to ease some of the $5 billion debt burden it's carrying. But there may be a potential suitor waiting. Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor parent Hudson's Bay, still licking its wounds from failing to put together the financing to buy larger rival Macy's, is now reportedly in talks to buy Neiman Marcus.
If a deal between Hudson Bay and Neiman Markus comes together, it could create a bigger luxury retail group that might be better able to withstand struggling sales and lower foot traffic that's leaving the department store industry reeling around the country.