THE HISTORY OF NEIMAN MARCUS
Innovation has been at the forefront of Neiman Marcus since opening in Dallas, Texas in 1907. Herbert Marcus, Sr., his sister, Carrie Marcus Neiman, and her husband A.L. Neiman, constructed the first Neiman Marcus store designed to fashionably clothe the entire community of Dallas, pledging fashion, quality, superior values, and unparalleled service which are still upheld today. Throughout the Company’s history, our founders have pushed the traditional definition of a retail company, evident in its expansions, partnerships, and investments in companies like FARFETCH in 2022, nationally recognized advertising and sales promotion events such as the Christmas Book and historical Fantasy Gifts, pursued luxury merchandise across the world and technological advancements. All the while, maintaining a close relationship with customers, vendors, and associates alike.
The tradition behind Neiman Marcus supports one of the nation’s leading specialty integrated retail organizations with more than 5.1 million gross square feet of store operations in the United States, including 36 Neiman Marcus stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores and five Last Call stores. Neiman Marcus online offers customers the leading assortment of luxury merchandise for women, men, kids and home.
“It shall be the store’s policy to be a leader at all times. With this aim always in view, exclusive lines of high-class garments have been secured, lines which have never been secured, lines which have never been offered to buyers in Texas. While Neiman Marcus will carry priced garments, and in greater quantities than has been customary in Dallas, we devoted the same care to the selection of our popular price garments as we did to our imported models. Our prices will be as low as is consistent with quality and workmanship.”
The Dallas Morning News, September 1, 1907—Neiman Marcus’ first advertisement
In 1905, Mr. Marcus and the Neimans moved from Dallas to Atlanta to open an innovative sales promotion business. The enterprise was a great success, and after two years they received two offers to sell out. One proposition was for $25,000, which they accepted so they could return to Dallas and start a business of their own — Neiman Marcus. The other offer involved a state franchise for an emerging bottled drink — Coca-Cola.
For the next six decades, the Marcus family led the management of Neiman Marcus, maintaining Herbert Marcus, Sr.’s principles: “It’s never a good sale for Neiman Marcus, unless it’s a good buy for the customer.” and “We want to sell satisfaction, not just merchandise.” Eventually, all of Herbert Marcus, Sr.’s sons joined the company: Stanley and Edward in 1926; Herbert, Jr., in 1932; and Lawrence in 1944. During World War II, Stanley Marcus served as the chief of the clothing section for the War Production Board, while his brothers joined the armed services.
“Neiman Marcus is Texas with a French accent. We suggest you think quickly of the half-dozen smartest shops in New York which you may have been accustomed to regarding as the smartest shops in the country. Neiman Marcus, 2,000 miles away, belongs easily in that small aristocracy of fashion. In 26 years since its beginnings, it has achieved such a preeminent place in the affections and respects of the United States and Vogue suspects a genius concealed somewhere about the place. “
Vogue, November 15, 1953, “Continental Chic in Texas”
With the passing of Herbert Marcus, Sr. on December 11, 1950, the Board of Directors of Neiman Marcus elected Carrie Neiman, Chairman of the Board; Stanley Marcus, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Edward Marcus, Executive Vice President. Along with Moira Cullen, Neiman Marcus’ first buyer, Carrie Neiman is credited with defining the intrinsic style with which Neiman Marcus has become synonymous.
As President and Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Marcus guided Neiman Marcus through the first expansions, developed nationally recognized advertising and sales promotion events, and pursued luxury merchandise across the world. All the while, he maintained a close relationship with customers, vendors and staff alike. “Mr. Stanley,” as he came to be known, served as President and Chief Executive Officer until 1969 when the company was sold to Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc., and he was named Executive Vice President in charge of the specialty store division. Mr. Marcus, whose uncompromising commitment to quality and customer service won Neiman Marcus international renown, served as Chairman Emeritus of the company until his death at the age of 96 in January of 2002.
At the end of 2022, Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Chief Executive Officer, NMG, brought back the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion, building upon the Award that Carrie and Stanley Marcus created, which has honored more than 100 fashion luminaries over 85 years.
Today, we continue to Lead with Love for our customers, associates, and brand partners while Making Life Extraordinary and Revolutionizing Luxury Experiences and honoring the legacy of our woman founded brand as a women majority led organization.