Neiman Marcus weighs $5.2M to stay in Dallas as it eyes remote work

Neiman Marcus weighs $5.2M to stay in Dallas as it eyes remote work

Dallas officials have approved $5.2 million in economic incentives to keep Neiman Marcus from pulling up stakes in its hometown — but the luxury chain isn’t yet committing, saying it’s shifting to a remote-work strategy that’s less reliant on a corporate headquarters.

Neiman and its 114-year-old flagship store in historic downtown have long been proud fixtures in Dallas — and city officials want it to stay that way. Terms of the incentives require that 35% of the company’s employees in Dallas live in the city. The package approved Wednesday also requires Neiman to retain a minimum of 1,100 corporate employees in Dallas. 

But Neiman Marcus — which closed two of three office locations in the city during its 2020 bankruptcy — didn’t immediately commit, describing the offer as “an important milestone” that will require further discussion.

Indeed, the swanky retailer lately has been leaning into a new corporate strategy, accelerated by the pandemic, that allows its office staff to work remotely — and not just from Dallas but from all over the country.

The interior of a Dallas Neiman Marcus store.
Dallas legislators are concerned that Neiman Marcus is shrinking its footprint in the city.
Jonathan Zizzo

We are purposefully not calling Dallas the headquarters but we will always have the majority of our employees in Dallas,” Neiman Marcus chief executive, Geoffroy van Raemdonck told The Post in an interview this week. “From an employee standpoint there is not a corporate headquarters.”

As previously reported by The Post, the company’s senior management, once concentrated in Dallas, is now spread out across the country now in Florida, California, New York, Missouri and North Carolina among other states. 

For the past five months about 10 of the top executives have been meeting once a month at stores in different cities, including New York, Miami and Scottsdale, Ariz., van Raemdonck said. 

Geoffroy van Raemdonck
CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck has been hiring senior executives who live and work outside Dallas.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Currently, most of Neiman’s corporate employees are still based in Dallas although there “has been a slight decrease since 2019,” according to a company spokeswoman.

The company said it is shifting to so-called regional hubs where employees can meet, but not necessarily every day. It has been searching for new offices in Dallas where at least half the space is comprised of conference rooms and lounges rather than individual desks, the company told The Post.

“As our process moves forward, we remain committed to continued collaboration with the City of Dallas on a final agreement that enables Neiman Marcus Group to deliver a modern workspace consistent with our integrated working philosophy and contributes to sustained economic development and job creation,” the company said in a statement.

The beauty department at Neiman Marcus.
One condition of the $5.2 million package is that Neiman Marcus keep its Dallas store open through 2031.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

As The Post previously reported, industry watchers and Neiman employees alike have speculated that Neiman Marcus might close its low-traffic flagship, located in a nine-story, Renaissance Revival building that the company owns. 

Dallas officials wanted assurances that wouldn’t happen, so their economic package is contingent on Neiman Marcus not closing its downtown store at least until 2031.

“We are reaffirming our commitment to the flagship store,” Neiman Marcus chief executive, Geoffroy Van Raemdonck told The Post, disputing that the company has considered closing it. 

Dallas officials want Neiman Marcus to move into a development called Cityplace Tower and have made that a condition of the economic package, among other strings. The city wants Neiman to add 300 new jobs in Dallas by 2026.

Latest Category Posts

You May Also Read