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Neiman Marcus Q1 profit falls sharply


New York City Neiman Marcus on Wednesday reported sharply lower profit for its first quarter as consumers continued to avoid luxury items Net profit totaled $8.5 million, down from $12.9 million a year earlier.

Revenue in the first quarter, ended Oct. 31, fell 11.9% to $868.9 million. Same-store sales at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores dropped 4.9%. Overall same-store sales, including its direct marketing segment, declined 13.7%.

Neiman Marcus has maintained tighter inventory controls to avoid having to steeply discount merchandise to get it off shelves.

The company said its comparable inventories were 22.5% lower in the quarter than a year earlier.

Neiman Marcus said it experienced weak demand across all geographic areas and that its apparel and home-decor categories were particularly hard hit. It cited "a challenging economic and retail environment" that it said would likely persist for an "extended period of time."

Last week the company reported same-store sales at its Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores had fallen 12.7% in November. The two brands account for about 83% of the company's revenue.

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