Over the years, Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter have seen increased interest in their ultra-curated holiday product assortments. In turn, they’ve leveraged data and partner brands to keep their offerings buzzy and competitive.
To appeal to its luxury shoppers, Neiman Marcus focused its 2022 Fantasy Gifts lineup on special moments, in line with its “Make the Moment” holiday campaign. The Fantasy Gifts, a roundup of extravagant experiences available for purchase, is now in its 63rd year, a testament to its popularity.
This year, the gifts include experiences across fashion, food and sports. For example, one of eight gifts benefitting a charity centers on the chance to play two-on-two basketball against Scottie Pippen and Scotty Pippen, Jr. The buyer also gets dinner with the Pippens, an autographed copy of his memoir, “Unguarded,” and a bourbon tasting with Scottie Pippen and his bourbon brand, Digits.
Other Fantasy Gifts include a Barbie Maserati Grecale Trofeo SUV — one of just two available in the U.S. Retailing for $330,000, it has custom features and a Barbie-pink paint job. There’s also a Cartier tiara and a trip to Paris for a scent consultation with Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Daz McColl, CMO of Neiman Marcus said, that company compiles the gifting assortment throughout the year. “We spend a lot of time building and creating opportunities and brainstorming ideas [with brands],” he said. “But the final decision on [what is featured] is ultimately determined around what’s relevant and inspiring for the year.” With the pandemic affecting in-person experiences, McColl said that this year’s Fantasy Gifts focus on extraordinary experiences involving human connection.
In its 2022 fiscal year results, released in October, Neiman Marcus reported that its top 2% of customers drive approximately 40% of its total sales. Furthermore, 80% of its top spenders have a net worth of at least $1 million. On the earnings call, Neiman Marcus Group reported that these high-income consumers spend an average of $25,000 annually and shop at the retailer at least 25 times per year.
Since introducing the Fantasy Gifts in October, the department store has observed considerable positive commentary around the included experiences online and in-store. It declined to provide numbers around resulting sales.
“We rely on many data points to inform our actions, especially when it comes to our holiday campaign messaging,” McColl said. “It’s important that we understand how to get new customers to engage, particularly with our holiday gifting assortment.”
Likewise, careful curation of holiday gifting selections are important for e-tailers, especially those on the competitive luxury side. Though Net-a-Porter has experimented with a Fantasy Gifts-style offering of its own in 2018 and 2019, it eventually halted the initiative in favor of focusing on exclusive holiday collections from top brands. This year, it’s offering 45 exclusive brand collaborations with brands including Coperni, Christian Louboutin and IWC Schaffhausen.
Like McColl, Net-a-Porter market director Libby Page mentioned the increased use of data for ensuring a standout holiday assortment. “The strong performance we’ve seen from eveningwear and occasion dressing this year dictated the amount of party capsules we created for this holiday season,” she said. “We worked with our top-performing brands and created exclusive capsule collections [shoppers] can’t find anywhere else.” The retailer called its holiday campaign ‘Time to Shine.”
According to Net-a-Porter, its customers prepared for the season earlier this year. In October, it saw searches for “party” increase 195%, compared to the same timeframe last year. Searches for “gift guide” increased 800%. Net-a-Porter does offer a gift guide, though experiences are not the focus.
“When it comes to our other gifting categories, we’ve found that the more unique [the product], the better,” said Page. “Our customers enjoy product that feels true to their style or feels like a thoughtful, personalized purchase for their loved ones.”