Neiman Marcus a little bit less exclusive

Pedestrians walk past a Neiman Marcus store on the Magnificent Mile March 5, 2009 in Chicago, Ill.

Jeremy Hobson: There's a big change happening today at Neiman Marcus. The exclusive department store --
which for years has only accepted American Express, Neiman's own credit card, or cash -- is going mainstream.

Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports.


Jennifer Collins: Today, Neiman Marcus department stores start taking Visa and Mastercard.

Vincent Quan teaches business at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.

Vincent Quan: This is a classic marketing tale of, 'gee, we've got the older customer. She's aging. Who's going to replace her?'

How about a bigger chunk of the 99 percent? Neiman's profits have been weak, while much of the luxury sector is booming. Quan says the department store needs to attract younger customers who may not use American Express.

Quan: By expanding beyond their normal cards, they can maybe even target a customer who would not normally purchase at a Neiman Marcus store.

Daniel Furtado is an analyst with Jeffries and Company. He says, Neiman's move:

Daniel Furtado: Makes it harder for AmEx to explain they are the premiere card issuer.

But easier for the holders of 3.5 billion Visa and Mastercards to shop at the slightly less exclusive department store.

I'm Jennifer Collins with Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

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