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Luxury department store retailer Neiman Marcus Group announced plans on Thursday to lay off 500 people, or about 5% of its workforce.
"It is always our intent to minimize the impact to existing associate jobs, and we take these types of decisions very seriously. We will support those associates who will be leaving the company with severance and other benefits," said NMG CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck.
It comes as the company is also creating a new leadership structure. As a result, it also identified open roles to best support the new operating model going forward.
The move will bring transition in technology leadership:
Darcy Penick, the president of Bergdorf Goodman, will assume leadership of the NMG product and technology organization.
"Bergdorf Goodman is a key driver for the company's growth through BG.com," van Raemdonck said. "Darcy's strategic leadership of NMG's product and technology roadmap will ensure the right suite of tools, platforms and resources are aligned to our most important investments in the customer experience and key capabilities across Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman."
This comes less than a year after Bergdorf Goodman announced it would replatform its ecommerce capabilities following a $200 million investment into Neiman Marcus Group from Farfetch.
With this move, chief product and technology officer Bob Kupbens will leave Neiman Marcus.
Additionally, Neiman Marcus President Ryan Ross will now lead the parent company’s customer insights group.
The moves come about a month after the company hired a chief brand officer and chief retail officer.
Neiman Marcus isn't alone among fashion and luxury retailers making layoffs as the industry grapples with a pullback in consumer spending on discretionary purchases amid inflation. Saks, Everlane, Stitch Fix and The RealReal recently announced job cuts, as well.
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Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”