Much has been said about Neiman Marcus’ recent decision to begin accepting Visa and MasterCard. The move seems to be a response to Neiman’s sales slump which coincides with general growth in the luxury retail market.
It’s obvious that limiting payment options to American Express, Neiman’s own credit card or cash does place a self imposed cap on market potential (or creates an air of exclusivity). By opening up payment options most retail insiders feel that Neiman Marcus is setting the stage for acquisition of an entirely new customer type. I don’t disagree with that assessment and I don’t think you would either.
But as I listened to Jennifer Collins’ story on Marketplace® this morning I put on my customer analytics hat and thought about what this move might mean to Neiman’s existing customer base. Are there Neiman’s customers out there (or customers that look just like the Neiman’s core customers) that prefer to use Visa or MasterCard? Might there be some benefits in this move for both Neiman’s customer retention and acquisition efforts?