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Mar 9, 2011
Mar 9, 2011
Neiman Marcus Online Store: Your High-End Ticket to Fashion
I recently went on a hunt for my father's sixtieth birthday gift. Generally, he likes tickets to sporting events or concerts, but this year I decided to couple a few Knicks tickets with a nice, new spring jacket. Because of my proximity to New York City, I have access to plenty of designers' brick and mortar stores, and I could have easily gone to any one and found something reasonably nice. However, my mother told me the exact jacket that I should get him - a Theory wind jacket - and I knew that finding the specific one wouldn't be the easiest thing to do. Instead of hauling myself to Bloomingdale's or one of the handful Theory stores, I decided to try my luck online first.
My Google search for the Theory Soldier Zip Jacket was quite successful - the first hit, Neiman Marcus, had exactly what I wanted. Immediately upon clicking the link, I was presented with a page that offered plenty of details of the jacket, including a large picture (with zoom-in capabilities), material information, a description of various features, and links to similar products. The price tag - a whopping $395 - was also proudly displayed. Eek.
I decided to look around the site a little bit more to see if I could find something comparable at a lower price. I was very impressed by the sheer selection of men's jackets available - mostly from high-end brands such as Prada or Elie Tahari. Outside of jackets, there are also polos, t-shirts, dress-shirts, pants, accessories, suits, etc. There is also no shortage of workout gear and shoes, and there's even a considerable sale selection. Outside of men's, the women's section looks like it is ten times as large. Luckily, one can search for the exact item they want, or specify search results by style, size, and designer. I didn't find a way to categorize searches by pricing - I wonder why...
While there were a few comparable jackets to the one that I had been instructed to purchase, the price difference wasn't too significant. I elected to look on other websites - including the Theory website - and was unable to find the jacket at a lower price, and most websites didn't carry the jacket. So, stuck with few options, I decided to bite the bullet and place an order.
The ordering process is, overall, very user friendly. Basic contact, shipping, and billing information is requested, and returning users can access their accounts or shopping carts. Neiman Marcus accepts all major credit cards and even has an area to type in promotional codes. After placing my order, I received a confirmation e-mail that included the total paid (product price, sales tax, and free shipping). Shipping is currently free for orders over $150 - and chances are your order will be over that much. I received my father's jacket within five business days. It was in perfect condition, was exactly what I ordered, and my credit card was charged correctly.
Overall, I would recommend the Neiman Marcus website. The layout is easy to navigate, and the pages load quickly (low use of highly complex graphics or Flash). One thing that does annoy me is that before placing my order, I received a pop-up asking me if I would like to add a $60 cosmetic bag to my order. Tacky! Nonetheless, I received the jacket in perfect order and wasn't burned even more by a shipping charge. The items are generally very pricey, but that's a function of the high-end nature of the products. If you're in the market for some very nice apparel, check this place out.