Herbert Marcus Sr. along with his sister, Carrie Marcus Neiman, and her husband, A.L. Neiman, had $25,000 to invest from a successful sales-promotion firm they had built in 1907. These business partners had two choices: purchase the rights to a new, unknown sugary soda or return to their hometown and start a new retail store.
They rejected the possible investment in the fledgeling Coca-Cola Company and chose to start a retail business in Dallas instead.
In 1914 a fire destroyed the Neiman Marcus store and all of its inventory. When the company reopened it had increased product selection to include lingerie and children’s clothing.
In 1950 Neiman Marcus opened a second location, also in Dallas, and expanded to Houston in 1957. A portrait studio operated by Gittings in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, brought high profile clients into the store to have their portraits done. Stars such as Howard Hughes, Wyatt Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt, and son Anderson Cooper, now of CNN fame.
Throughout the 1970’s the company opened new stores in Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and St. Louis. After the death of Stanley Marcus in 2002, the store has changed hands several times, but still retains its original name. The company is now under the shared ownership of Ares Management and CPP Investment Board.
Today Neiman Marcus has 41 stores nationwide, owns Bergdorf-Goodman department stores, and operates a direct marketing division, Neiman Marcus Direct. Neiman Marcus has over 15,000 employees and had $4.34 billion in revenue in 2012.