How Neiman Marcus innovates to adapt

Neiman Marcus has learned a thing or two in its 109-year history — and one thing remains constant: It must anticipate future customer needs to stay on the cutting edge of retail. As head of the retailer’s innovation lab, Scott Emmons does just that every day, choosing the type of technology and systems necessary to cater to customers in years to come.

On this episode of Retail Gets Real, Emmons discusses how Neiman Marcus does it while staying true to its origins.

Emmons focuses on two things when approaching retail innovation: Does the new technology or idea solve a problem for the customer, and how does it enhance the customer relationship? “It is a balancing act, because we've always emphasized the human relationship part of our business,” Emmons says. “I think we have the capabilities to cater to a customer who wants a more traditional experience and still offer modern amenities and modern digital experiences when they're shopping with Neiman Marcus.”

Listen and subscribe

Don’t miss an episode: Subscribe to Retail Gets Real via Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher.

The Neiman Marcus iLab successfully introduced the “memory mirror,” a digital mirror that can record a customer from different angles in the fitting room. The customer can then compare multiple outfits side-by-side or even solicit advice from friends on social media. The experiment was so well received that Neiman Marcus is working to expand the platform’s technology. A newer development is the memory makeover mirror, which allows a store’s beauty specialists to record makeup sessions with customers and then share a video tutorial so they can create the look at home.

Listen to the full episode to hear Emmons’ tips on how retailers can begin powering innovation efforts in their organizations and what he believes retail will look like in the future.

For a look back at what Karen Katz, former president and CEO of The Neiman Marcus Group, said about innovation and putting digital first, check out this past episode of Retail Gets Real.

More from the podcast

Data privacy and the customer experience
 
inserting a chip card to pay for groceries
Retail Gets Real episode 127: How retailers must build a relationship based on trust when it comes to customer data.
Read more
Cuyana: Scaling a brand built on ‘fewer, better’
 
Karla Gallardo, CEO of Cuyana
Retail Gets Real episode 126: What led to Cuyana’s early success and where the business is headed.
Read more
How KiwiCo’s growth is fueled by kids’ creativity
 
KiwiCo's Sandra Oh Lin records podcast
Retail Gets Real episode 125: CEO and Founder Sandra Oh Lin on KiwiCo’s journey from garage startup to growing brand.
Read more