Neiman Marcus has a free shipping gift for its customers — but it's not just for the holidays.
The upscale retailer, known for its one-of-a-kind items and luxury catalog, says it will now offer free standard shipping and free returns permanently for all domestic purchases made on its websites or at its Bergdorf Goodman and namesake stores.
The competitive move comes at a time major retailers are gearing-up for the critical holiday season, which can often make the difference between a very good year or a very bad one. For the luxury retailer, it's also a move to keep pace with some key rivals, including Nordstrom, which already offers permanent free shipping on domestic purchases and returns.
"The customer has always been at the center of the Neiman Marcus business model," says Wanda Gierhart, chief marketing officer, in a statement.
Permanent free shipping and returns have been a top request for Neiman Marcus customers, says Gierhart. "We are happy to be able to make this change just in time for the holiday shopping season," she says.
But the free shipping service will continue long after the holidays are over. Retailers like Neiman Marcus have increasingly begun to recognize that free shipping ranks as one of the most important purchase factors for online customers globally.
Perhaps that's why Neiman Marcus also says all international orders over $100 will ship free of charge.
Also, every Neiman Marcus associate has a smartphone loaded with apps to help them stay in touch with customers about alterations, merchandise delivery and new items of interest.
In addition, iPads are being used in selected departments in all stores to give customers access to online inventory as well as what is currently available in store.
The company operates 41 Neiman Marcus Stores across the United States and two Bergdorf Goodman stores in Manhattan.
—By Bruce Horovitz, USA Today.