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Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz on putting digital first

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Karen Katz started as an assistant store manager in a small Neiman Marcus store; 32 years later, she is the luxury retailer’s CEO. Retail “has allowed women to achieve things much faster and earlier as an industry than many other industries,” she says.

Over her career, Katz has seen the company do “a good to great job” of adopting ecommerce strategies and implementing tech in stores to enhance the customer experience. Katz’s favorite has been the “Memory Mirror,” which records free makeup sessions given in the store and sends the videos to customers’ phones so they can replicate the look at home.

On this episode, Katz joins Retail Gets Real to discuss how the 110-year-old company has adapted to drastic changes in the industry with a “digital-first” approach, and how the evolution is impacting today’s retail workforce.

“The kind of people we’re going to need in this industry today, tomorrow and for the future of retailing is very different.”
Karen Katz

Katz is the chair of the NRF Foundation Board, where she strives to make a difference in the conversation surrounding the next group of people interested in joining the retail industry. “The kind of workforce that is needed for the next generation of retail is much more vast than the way people think of traditional retailing,” she says. There is a need for people with a passion for subjects like data analytics, for example.

Listen to this episode to hear what technologies in Neiman Marcus stores are helping cement the personal touch the stores are known for. Catch up on the most popular past episodes of Retail Gets Real, including Scott Galloway's predictions for the future of retail.


Nadee Bandaranayake is a part of NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast team. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.

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