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Neiman Marcus files for IPO; looks to expand outlet center format

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Luxury department store operator Neiman Marcus Inc. on Monday disclosed plans for a proposed public offering of up to $100 million.

The retailer’s plan, announced in a regulatory filing, comes some eight years after it was acquired for $5.1 billion by private equity firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus. In its filing, Neiman Marcus indicated a desire to expand its outlet center concept, Last Call, which currently operates 35 locations.

"We believe Last Call represents a meaningful growth opportunity relative to the number of the off-price retail locations of other luxury and premium multi-branded U.S. retailers," the company said. "Over the next five years, we believe there is an opportunity to approximately double our Last Call store count. Combined with lastcall.com, we believe there is an opportunity to enhance our existing, nationwide, omni-channel experience for the aspirational, price-sensitive yet fashion-minded customer."

The company’s growth strategy includes building out its multichannel capabilities and improving online sales, especially internationally.

"Our international online business represents a significant opportunity, which we intend to exploit by implementing focused marketing programs to build global brand awareness and by focusing on key geographies with strong affluent customer demographics," the company said.

Neiman Marcus is coming off a strong year. During the 12 month period ended April 27, 2013, the company reported revenues of $4.5 billion, up 6.5% from the year-ago period, and adjusted operating profit of $623 million.

Neiman Marcus won’t receive any proceeds from the offering. (All shares in an IPO would be sold by existing shareholders.) In addition to its 35 Last Call stores, the Dallas-based company operates 41 namesake stores, two Bergdorf Goodman locations, and six Cusp stores, which cater to younger customers.

In the SEC filing, Neiman Marcus did not disclose how many shares would be offered, or what the projected price range would be. The company also did not disclose what exchange it expects to list the stock on or what ticker symbol it plans to use.

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OurPet’s president announces exit

BY CSA STAFF

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio — OurPet’s president John M. Silvestri has resigned citing personal reasons and will leave the company after July 5. Silvestri has been with the leading proprietary pet supply company since Feb. 12, 2012.

"John’s departure is voluntary and without any disputes,” said chairman and CEO Dr. Steven Tsengas. “We will miss John as he brought many best practices to our company that are facilitating our growth and development. We wish him the best of everything in wherever his future takes him."

Tsengas will resume the office and functions of the presidency, which he held prior to Silvestri’s hiring. Tim Viancourt, formerly VP sales at Bil-Jac Pet prior to joining OurPet’s in 2011, will continue as VP of global sales, while Gabriella DeSantis, formerly marketing director at United Pet Group, will continue as senior director of marketing. Both will report directly to Tsengas.

OurPet’s Company designs, produces and markets a broad line of accessory and consumable pet products in the U.S. and overseas. OurPet’s Websites include: www.smartscoop.com, www.ecopurenaturals.com, www.playnsqueak.com, www.flappydogtoys.com, www.clipnosis.com and www.cosmiccatnip.com.

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Marsh: Lessons learned from Bangladesh factory collapse

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people highlights the serious risks that labor conditions can pose not only to workers, but also to organizations’ reputations, supply chains, and bottom lines, according to a report by global insurance broking and risk management firm Marsh.

In its latest Marsh Risk Management Research report, Bangladesh Factory Collapse: Lessons in Risk for the Retail Industry, Marsh provides an overview of the wide range of risks retailers face and risk mitigation advice when sourcing textile goods from Bangladesh and other low-cost markets.

“Even though major retailers and suppliers have sourced from Bangladesh for decades and have worked to improve labor conditions in the past, the Rana Plaza incident clearly reinforces to organizations that labor-related globalization risks require robust oversight efforts, greater visibility, increased vigilance, and continuous improvement,” said Tracy Knippenburg Gillis, global reputational risk and crisis management practice leader for Marsh Risk Consulting. “Retailers and suppliers should use this tragedy as a catalyst to more fully identify and understand their operational and supply chain risk exposures, reform and strengthen workforce safety practices, and improve supply chain and reputational risk resiliency.”

In addition to carefully considering their approach to reputational risk, crisis management, and supply chain resiliency, Marsh recommends that retailers focus on improving compliance efforts and transparency by further standardizing factory audit processes for and contract language with suppliers. This could include: more frequent and unannounced inspections, greater worker engagement in factory audits, and stricter penalty clauses for failure to meet workplace safety requirements.

Click here to download the report.

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