Charlatan Magazine

Neiman Marcus' American Dream


Retailers were the among the first to feel the affects of Covid-19. Contributor PEGGY TRANKINA remembers how Michigan Avenue sparkled in the American Dream.



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2020-01-01

Editor's Letters

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It’s being compared to the Great Depression, so why are retailers like Neiman Marcus still in the game? The proof may be in the podcast. Elana Drell-Szyfer has been in the beauty industry long enough to weather several crises. “I’ve lived through them all,” she said, on the Glossy Beauty Podcast. She was a beauty insider on 9/11 and the 2008 Financial Crisis. The RéVive Skincare’s CEO knows how to navigate a crisis.

Retailers and cosmetic companies like RéVive are adapting much the way every sector is — by taking previously offline efforts into the virtual world. The new “Deskside Promotion” presents products to customers, influencers, and reporters where they work. “This is my first crisis as a leader of an organization,” Drell-Szyfer says. “I was with larger companies in 2001 and 2008, and I watched how they reacted from that perspective. In a smaller company, I think the measures are the same.” Drell-Szyer continues. “I’m also a very big believer that you have to see people — relationships are best built in person — and I think this crisis may change how we actually do business. I think we’ll travel less, be more thoughtful about it, and lean into teleconferencing."

Podcasts, Instagram & Curbside Service are all the rage

Peggy Trankina, a 30-year veteran with Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue, goes further. “I was with Sisley Paris at the onset of the 2008 Financial Crisis,” she says, “and when faced with layoffs RéVive Skincare came to the rescue. Their founder, Dr. Gregory Bays Brown, would occasionally frequent our store, and I’d always notice his hands. His secret? RéVive Fermatif Neck Cream, he explained, and from those unsuspected and scientific properties a rather magical hand cream was born.

Today, Trankina is the counter manager for RéVive skincare at Neiman Marcus’ Michigan Avenue store and attests “RéVive’s luxurious rose-scented hand cream visibly smooths and strengthens delicate skin to restore firmness and elasticity whilst deeply hydrating for all day moisture and comfort.” Advanced brightening agents diminish visible age spots, discolorations, and the SPF 15 sunscreen helps protect against future sun damage. The results? It addresses the delicate skin on the hands to restore firmness and elasticity.

The lion’s share of luxury skincare revenue comes from facial creams, serums, and other concoctions that reduce lines, plump and lift. Trankina says there’s an adage in the retail game that goes something like this: the neck and hands are the truest and most definitive indicators of age. RéVive Fermitif hand cream not only imparts comfort and hydration, but also imbibes with an advanced scientific technology that increases skin density, elasticity, and firmness, too.”

The saving grace isn’t just in the science. Despite the Panic of 1907, Neiman Marcus opened its doors in Dallas Texas as a luxury department store and has been a pioneer and leader in America’s Retail Industry for over 100 years. With 42 stores throughout North America, traditional services like doormen, expert customer service, and a warm welcome are sure to greet you. And their newest thing? Neiman Marcus has actually managed to stay client facing during the crisis. While we can still shop online, the innovative “Curbside Pickup” is in operation from 10-4 most days of the week enabling both city and suburban dwellers to exercise their right to shop. Interestingly, Neiman Marcus provided this exact same service in 1907 when automobiles, horses and buggies, and grand carriages all queued along the promenade of yesteryear.

Whether you're a CEO, counter manager, or a valued customer, Trankina explains “We’re all in this together.” The American Dream has taken hits before, but the promise of prosperity to all that work hard has delivered time and again. As we ease back into society, the need for personal attention sparkles like never before.

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