Karen Katz

Business

Layoffs Add to Karen Katz’s Woes at Neiman Marcus

Eighty job cuts blamed in part on 'reorganization' of store and online operations.

Karen Katz (File Photo)
Karen Katz (File Photo)

Last month, reports were flying that Karen Katz was on her way out as president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group. Comparable-store sales at the venerable, Dallas-based luxury retail chain have been declining for several quarters now, leading Fortune magazine to call it the company’s roughest patch since the Great Recession. Neiman’s has also suffered a costly customer data breach, as well as the loss of some key top executives. In such bad-news situations, the person calling the shots naturally is often the most vulnerable.

Neiman’s sagging fortunes aren’t all Katz’ fault, of course. The company and its private-equity owners are staggering under a giant debt burden. And the oil crash has hit Neiman’s customers hard—especially in Texas, where seven of its 42 Neiman Marcus stores are located. While layoffs and bankruptcies have become routine in the oil patch, many of the company’s luxury consumers have watched their energy portfolios shrivel and their oil-and-gas royalty checks shrink, making them less likely to shell out for that pricey new tux or ball gown.

Now there’s still more bad news for Neiman’s. The company just announced 80 layoffs—about 50 of those in Dallas—partly due to a “reorganization” of its online and brick-and-mortar operations. That’s on top of last year’s 500 job cuts, nearly 160 of which directly affected North Texas. Reacting earlier this month to reports of her imminent demise, Katz told a New York audience that, contrary to “the rumors out there,” she wasn’t going anywhere. One wonders if, after this week’s news, she remains quite so sure.

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Comments

  • Adam Silber

    It is no secret that KarenKkatz cant run the company well.. She should have already been removed.. The company has tried to limit Americans legal rights in the workplace and its customers .. Its in court smearing them as liars who “invented injury” very ugly and classless. Multiple class action lawsuits in all directions speak of her incompetence. Soon there will be nobody left to layoff.. The owners have already lost patience with her lack of focus . If she had any dignity or decency she would have already resigned..

  • unsavedheathen

    The value of the company has been sucked out the door by successive leveraged buyouts and the obscene stock and salary packages that have gone hand in hand with the deification of upper management. Those that have paid the price are the employees, current and former, and the clients that they used to serve so well.

    To that point, what I find most laughable is the statement by the NM spokesperson that accompanies each successive round of layoffs that the “client’s shopping experience” will not be affected. Really? As if no one can remember the pleasure it used to be to deal with Neiman’s compared to the ordeal it is today.