FINANCE

Neiman Marcus Group to acquire German online retailer, flagship store

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — Neiman Marcus Group has signed an agreement to acquire the German luxury fashion e-commerce site Mytheresa.com and Theresa, its flagship Munich store from Christoph and Susanne Botschen and Acton Capital Partners. The transaction is expected to close later this year.

Based in Munich, Germany, Mytheresa.com is an online extension of the Theresa flagship, which was founded in1987. The companies’ revenues are approximately $130 million annually. Mytheresa.com ships to over 120 countries globally with a highly localized approach and more than two-thirds of the company revenue comes from outside of Germany. Mytheresa.com’s strength in the European, Middle East, and Asia markets complements NMG’s core business in The United States. The key categories are women’s ready to wear, shoes, handbags and accessories.

The mytheresa.com online onsite and flagship will be run as an independent subsidiary of NMG based in Munich. The Mytheresa.com management team will continue in their current roles. An advisory board will be established for the independent business unit with Christoph and Susanne Botschen as well as representatives from NMG. The independent business unit will report to Joshua Schulman, currently president of Bergdorf Goodman. Schulman will add president of NMG International to his current responsibilities.

“With the acquisition of mytheresa.com, Neiman Marcus Group takes yet another strategically significant step towards our long range international strategy to more broadly serve the affluent customer around the world,” said Karen Katz, President and CEO Neiman Marcus Group. "Christoph and Susanne Botschen have brilliantly built and positioned mytheresa.com and Theresa by catering to the international luxury customer who is young and fashion savvy through incomparable editing of fashion and the trends, along with superior service. As importantly, they have assembled a talented and accomplished team that will be a great cultural fit with our company.”

Morgan Stanley acted as the financial advisor to Neiman Marcus Group.

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OPERATIONS

Urban Outfitters issues apology for controversial Kent State sweatshirt

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Urban Outfitters on Monday apologized via its Twitter account after it came under fire for selling a “vintage” Kent State University sweatshirt featuring red dye markings that resembled blood stains, a look that called to mind the infamous shooting that occurred on the Kent State campus in 1970.

In its apology, Urban Outfitters said that the one-of-a-kind product was part of its sun-faded vintage collection. The company called red stains and holes “discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray.”

“It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such,” Urban Outfitters said. “Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.”

Images of the sweatshirt, which quickly circulated online, drew an immediate response from Kent State University.

“This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today," the university said in a statement on its website. "We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit.”

In related news, eBay, citing a policy against the selling of items linked to disasters or tragedies, took down a listing for the controversial sweatshirt. The seller, who was not named, tried to resell it on EBay for $2,500, and pledged to give 50% of the profits from the sale to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Urban Outfitters has attracted public criticism over other controversial items. Last year, it pulled a series of shot glasses and flasks that resembled prescription pill bottles after lawmakers said the items promoted drug use.

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FINANCE

Office Depot plans transfer to Nasdaq

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot Inc. will transfer the listing of its common stock from the New York Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The company expects its common stock to cease trading on the NYSE effective at the close of business on Sept. 25, and to commence trading on Nasdaq on Sept. 26, when the market opens.

The company will retain its current ticker symbol “ODP” when trading begins on Nasdaq.

“We are pleased to partner with Nasdaq as our new stock market listing,” said Stephen Hare, Office Depot’s executive VP and CFO. “We believe Nasdaq will provide an ideal trading platform for Office Depot and cost effective access to a portfolio of tools and services to reach investors. “While we are looking forward to our new relationship with Nasdaq, the NYSE was our listing home for many years, and they have served us well over that time.”

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