There has been some buzz lately over Neiman Marcus' lack of competitive fervor regarding online discounts. The whole hooplah started with a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs boots that had been marked down to $580 from $725. These same boots were found elsewhere (Saks, Shopbop, and Zappos) for significantly less. Unfortunately, they were snatched up right away on all three sites, but you could try the Jessica Simpson "Faia" Boot as a more wallet friendly alternative (was $159, now $78.86).
So why would Neiman Marcus choose not to compete with other sites' pricing? Especially with the country experiencing its slowest spending season in years? I found even the Bergdorf Goodman site was offering better discounts than Neiman Marcus. And here's the clincher – they are owned by the same company! So what gives? After rummaging through Neiman's sale section, I went over to Bergdorf's site and found three of the same shoes for significantly cheaper prices.
The Biba Suede Knee Boot is a featured sale item on both sites, but Neiman Marcus offers it for $468 (originally $585), while Bergdorf's sells the boot for $351. I found the Prada Patent Bow Pump on sale at Neiman's for $446 (originally $595). At Bergdorf's, it was marked down to $333 – almost half the original price. I found similar discrepancies for a Louboutin shoe originally priced at $850 (at Neiman's for $637 , and Bergdorf's for $476 ).
So why would the same parent company offer better online discounts at one retailer over another? Do customers truly not care how much they spend? Both stores cater to the same client base, so the ladies who virtually lunch at Neiman’s are likely to cyberhop on over to Bergdorf’s and notice the price differences. Well, according to the rise in Neiman’s profits, that might not matter a whole lot to them.
Is there another reason for Neiman's lack of competitive pricing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.