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Revamping Bergdorf's: Store Steps Up Program To Build Sales to $500M

The ambitious remodeling process at Bergdorf Goodman continues, as it strives to grow revenues to at least $500 million a year.

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NEW YORK — It's been an expensive, 10-year, stop-and-go process, but Bergdorf Goodman's overhaul is picking up steam again.

The goal of the project, at an estimated cost of $80 million to $85 million, is to modernize the luxury emporium, retain the classicism while injecting some hipness it's never had before and grow revenues to at least $500 million a year.

And, as Bergdorf's parent, the Neiman Marcus Group, is close to being acquired by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus for $5.1 billion, such growth will be ever more important. The new owners are expected to drive hard the assets of NMG to justify its price tag while further expanding the company in a world of luxury retailing that it already dominates.

"They're 100 percent behind the remodeling," said Jim Gold, president and chief executive officer of Bergdorf Goodman. "We are confident that our renovation will allow us to build on our current success and further solidify our position as the ultimate luxury store."

Gold declined to confirm any figures for this story.

Since 2000, the main floor and the beauty floor below, as well as the second, fourth and most of the fifth floors, were remodeled, and some back offices were moved off-site to add selling space. But there are plenty more construction projects in the works, among them:

  • A new loft-like third floor for designer sportswear collections, including Derek Lam, Vera Wang, Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Chloé and Comme des Garçons. Construction starts in October and goes in phases, a quarter of the space at a time.
  • New beauty level shops, including Wolford at the end of September; a larger Jo Malone space at the end of October, and Guerlain's debut in January.
  • The BG restaurant/bar on seven, seen opening in mid-November, seating about 100 in a 2,000-square-foot area and serving classic American cuisine for lunch and cocktails. It will be a stage for wine tastings, visiting chef demonstrations, caviar tastings and book signings.
  • A redesigned personal shopping complex on four, for March.

In addition, a new sixth floor, for modern sportswear collections such as Cuccinelli, Akris Punto, Piazza Sempione and Etro, is on the drawing boards. It's the last full-floor renovation, with a construction schedule to be determined.

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