Although they do not have any physical locations in Australia, the US-based Neiman Marcus is looking to pump more marketing money into the country. The reason? In the one year the Neiman Marcus Australian website has been live, Australia has become one of the company’s largest sales regions.
Like many of the big US brick and mortar retail stores with online shopping, nearly one-third of Neiman Marcus’s profits came from online shopping last year; their second-quarter performance report detailed increased online sales of 15.1 percent from a year ago. And while their focus is not on opening any stores in Australia, Neiman Marcus has begun to market specifically to customers in Australia, with the promotion of their website, and marketing and marquee fashion events.
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Shoppers in Oz have proven interest in the wide-range of luxury designer brands Neiman Marcus provides, and have spurred this movement towards more involvement on the continent. With no geographical boundaries to the modern shopping experience, Neiman has taken the opportunity and run with it.
''We know there is a customer here in Australia that is very interested in a wide selection, a great selection, of designer and luxury merchandise and Neiman Marcus has hundreds of designers and tens of thousands of items,'' Lindy Rawlinson, senior vice president of e-commerce, said. ''It's very easy to shop [online], a personalised experienced on the site along with customer service and you put that all that together, and that as we see it is the Neiman Marcus customer.''
Several US companies – including Williams-Sonoma, J. Crew, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy and Banana Republic – all have websites suited for the Australian customer, including Australia dollar pricing and free shipping in some instances. Neiman Marcus offers a large selection of luxury brands paired with free express postage, something they hold over Australia’s own domestic department stores.
David Jones and Myer, Australia’s leading department store, has been slow to build a solid online foundation, and has lost business because of it. They recently reported online sales were only 2 percent of their total sales. And although they are aiming for 10 percent in the future, David Jones and Myer are way behind compared to foreign online businesses, who claim online sales make up one-third of their profits.