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Neiman Marcus CEO to retire


Dallas Neiman Marcus Group said Tuesday that its CEO Burton Tansky will retire in October, vacating a post he has held since 2001.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Tansky, 72, will be replaced by Karen Katz, his longtime second-in-command and current executive VP Neiman Marcus Group.

Tansky will remain nonexecutive chairman of the board.

Like most of the luxury retail sector, Neiman’s has struggled through the downturn, posing 18 months of declining comp-store sales. "Aspirational customers really got hit hard during the financial crisis,” Tansky said in March on an earnings call. "We felt they vacated our stores last year."

The company is also feeling the burden of $3 billion in debt, a result of its $5.1 billion leveraged buyout by private-equity firms Warburg Pincus and TPG in 2005.

However, the recent uptick in consumer spending has benefited the luxury department store retailer. Earlier this month, the company said that same-store sales rose 9.6% in March. Total sales in the five weeks ended April 3 increased 11%.

Following a long stint as president at Saks Fifth Avenue, Tansky joined Neiman Marcus in 1989 as head of Bergdorf Goodman. His replacement, Katz, joined Neiman in 1985.

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