Three months after hanging out a “For Sale” sign, Neiman Marcus has taken itself off the market, said CEO Karen Katz during a recent earnings call. Neiman Marcus had been in talks with Canadian department store Hudson’s Bay regarding a possible acquisition that would have combined the retailers, but the former officially confirmed that all discussions have ended.
Without a sale, the luxury retailer’s future remains uncertain. Moody’s Investors Service labeled Neiman Marcus as one of 22 “distressed retailers” subject to very high credit risk, making it a serious candidate for bankruptcy in 2017. The company’s struggles in recent years finally came to a head in January 2017, when the retailer shelved plans for an initial public offering (IPO).
During this same period, comparable store revenues decreased 4.9%, with the retailer reporting a net loss of $24.9 million. This marks the fourth straight quarterly loss for Neiman Marcus, which has total liabilities of $6.4 billion, including $1.2 billion of deferred income taxes according to its latest annual filing.
Hudson's Bay, which operates chains such as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, recently announced it would cut 2,000 jobs as part of a reorganization that will focus on integrating digital functions throughout the organization, creating separate leadership teams for the Canadian and U.S. chains and enhancing sales training. The department store chain has tried to diversify its business model with mergers in the past, with the company entering preliminary negotiations to acquire Macy’s before talks broke down.