• Retail Top 100 2012, No. 23: Neiman Marcus

Like many other luxury players concerned about protecting their carefully cultivated brand images, Neiman Marcus was slow to embrace social media. But in the run-up to the 2011 holiday season, the high-end retailer got into the spirit in a big way by hosting a flurry of digital campaigns aimed at boosting its online presence. As of mid-December, the retailer had nearly 500,000 fans on Facebook and 50,000 followers on Twitter. The campaigns included a Foursquare scavenger hunt called “Clutch me if you can,” in which Nancy Gonzalez clutch bags were hidden in 15 of its 41 stores and customers had to check in via Foursquare to receive clues about where to find them. In an effort to create buzz for the launch of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s collection, Neiman Marcus launched a Facebook design contest encouraging fans to assemble virtual outfits from items in the collection. The ensembles were judged by Rachel Zoe and the chain’s fashion director Ken Downing, with the winner receiving a private meeting with the two judges plus a $2,500 Neiman Marcus gift card. So what caused the sudden shift in attitude? Research showing that 77 percent of Neiman Marcus customers own a Web-enabled mobile device and 60 percent are on Facebook.

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