If one thing is certain in these uncertain times, it’s that this holiday season will be unlike any other. While many of us will have to adjust traditions thanks to the coronavirus, retailers will have to make similar alterations for what is normally the most lucrative period of the year. Neiman Marcus and its legendary fantasy gifts are no exception.
In response to a fluctuating economy, this year’s selection is broader than years past, with a lineup edited to suit current shopping habits. The Dallas-based fashion giant stepped away from fashion slightly, putting a larger emphasis on things like electronics in its annual Christmas Book, which better serve most gift-givers. And, much in the manner of its stylists, the company is introducing gifting advisers to help customers navigate its new in-store gifting lounges.
“We readjusted the whole approach to reflect the environment of 2020 during the pandemic,” Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Neiman’s CEO, told WWD. “We have brought in newness in gifting and more investment in different categories. We’ve made a lot of investment in things you can enjoy—epicure, and really beautiful comfortable clothes for at home.”
Though the price points for its roster of curated treats may be more inclusive than before, don’t take that to mean those gifts are any less luxurious. None of the top-tier items or experiences quite match the expense of the $7.1 million solar-powered yacht from 2018, but they remain rarefied nonetheless.
For those hoping for an adventure, look no further than the five-night stay at Sheldon Chalet nestled in Alaska’s jagged mountainscapes. For $345,000, guests will have access to a private chef to prepare meals and have the opportunity to meet Robert Sheldon, the son of the pilot who discovered the remote location where the chalet is situated. There’s also a $255,000 Bowlus travel trailer, for those who’d prefer to hit the road instead.
If you’re looking to refresh your home decor (perhaps a necessity given how much time quarantine has forced you to look at it), acclaimed designer Jonathan Adler will transform a room in your house into a game room complete with games and beaded art for $145,000. And if you want to decorate yourself or a loved one, Oscar Heyman is offering a collection of rings made with exotic gems such as an Alexandrite and diamond ring for $190,000. With the purchase of each fantasy gift, between $5,000 and $10,000 will be donated to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
This holiday season could prove especially crucial for the heritage retailer. Neiman Marcus only recently emerged from bankruptcy and though it still holds a crucial place in the fashion and retail industries, it will need to be nimble in order to keep pace with the many brands forgoing wholesale all together in favor of direct-to-consumer e-commerce.