Pret-a-Reporter

Is Neiman Marcus Flirting With Hudson's Bay?

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It's complicated.

Like its competitors, luxury department store Neiman Marcus has been struggling over the past few years. 

But according to new reports, Hudson's Bay Company — the retail business group that operates Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Gilt.com, as well as department stores in Canada — might just be the knight in shining armor to save the Dallas-based luxury department store chain from going the way of Macy's (that is, being forced to close hundreds of stores). 

Speaking of Macy's, according to The New York Times, the department store was also in talks with Hudson's Bay earlier this year; however, discussions with Neiman Marcus are reportedly "a bit more serious." Neiman Marcus is currently owned by the CPP Investment Board and Ares Management.

Neiman Marcus is burdened with a debt of $5 billion and falling sales; on Tuesday the company reported a 6.1 percent decrease in sales in the last quarter. The news of the company potentially putting itself up for sale comes after the department store abandoned plans for an IPO in January. 

Should it be scooped up by Hudson's Bay, Neiman Marcus would be cozying up to its direct competitors: Saks was acquired by the Canadian giant for almost $3 billion in 2013.

Since its acquisition, Saks has renovated several of its flagship stores, including a $250 million restoration of its Fifth Avenue location; the retailer also opened two stores in Canada and continues to open its Saks Off 5th outlet stores. Should the sale go through, perhaps we might see a similar fate for Neiman Marcus or its subsidiaries, Bergdorf Goodman and MyTheresa.com.

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