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2012 May 29

Neiman Marcus Expands Its "Cusp" Contemporary Department

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Neiman Marcus' new Cusp department Neiman Marcus' new Cusp department
Courtesy Neiman Marcus
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(NEW YORK) Attention, contemporary designers, and watch out, Co-Op: Neiman Marcus is majorly expanding its contemporary department, Cusp, with shop-in-shops of the branded concept nestled in all 42 of its current locations. Cusp first bowed six years ago with two standalone outposts of the department stores' contemporary lines housed in boutique-esque spaces. Since 2006 that number has grown to six brick-and-mortar locations (two in the D.C. area, one in L.A.'s Century City, two in the Chicago area, and one in Chestnut Hill, M.A.), plus its e-commerce component. 

Despite carrying many of the Cusp-worthy brands on its selling floors already—like Vince, Theory, Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, Alice + Olivia, Helmut Lang, DvF, and Rag & Bone—the luxury retailer hasn't had a highly branded counterpart for the same sorts of brands to sister store Bergdorf Goodman's 5F. Same goes for competitors in the space, such as Barneys New York's CO-OP. However, Neiman isn't the only luxury department store that's been lacking a strongly identifiable department for its stable of hip brands. Saks Fifth Avenue peddles a similar assortment of brands in its literal "Contemporary" department, for example. 

Expect bright lighting including bulbous orb-shaped fixtures, airy layouts, and peppy carpeting in shades of tangerine, cocoa, and lime interspersed with glossy stone floors. The decision to roll out a plethora of additional Cusp locations aims to "bring fresh energy and excitement to our contemporary business, and continue the progression of our omni-channel transformation," said Jim Gold, Neiman Marcus' president of specialty retail, in a release. 

Word of the unfurling of Cusp locations at all NM locations coincides with today's reports that the department store's profits shot up 35 percent in its third quarter. Profits for the quarter, ending April 28, amounted to $62.8 million, up from $46.2 million in earnings for the same period in 2011. Growth for the Neiman Marcus brand, which counts Bergdorfs under its corporate umbrella, was most robust in the Southeast as well as Texas, where the retailer is based in Dallas. 
ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV 

 




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