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US chain eyes luxury business

By Lu Nengneng (Shanghai Daily)

10:20, March 23, 2012

THE Neiman Marcus Group Inc, a US-based luxury chain, will invest US$28 million in a Hong Kong e-commerce firm to set up its first foothold in China, the world's fastest-growing luxury market.

Through the partnership with privately-held Glamour Sales Holding, the Dallas-based retailer will launch its own luxury e-commerce website for Chinese consumers by the end of this year. It will directly source from manufacturers the multi-brand, full-price and current-season offerings.

The investment will also help the group boost the "flash sales" online business operated by Glamour Sales, which provides limited-time high discounts on luxury goods in China and Japan, the company said.

Karen Katz, president and CEO of the group, said in Shanghai yesterday that the partnership heralds the company's global expansion and that the timing is good to explore China, which is set to be the world's largest luxury market in the next decade.

The group posted a revenue of US$4 billion in its most recent fiscal year ended in July 2011, slightly down from its record annual revenue of US$4.6 billion achieved in the middle of 2008.

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