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Thursday
Oct272011

Neiman Marcus Will Accept Visa and Mastercard 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Luxury department store Neiman Marcus, land of the $525 Gucci GG Jacquard Dress Shirt, has cultivated a ritzy exclusivity has long extended all the way to the cash register.  Customers are welcome to pay with a branded-Neiman Marcus credit card, American Express or cash.

Visa or MasterCard holders needed not apply.

But now, the Wall Street Journal reports, Neiman Marcus will begin accepting Visa and MasterCard at its 41 luxury outposts Nov. 1. The move is intended to sell more goods to younger, less wealthy customers.

Neiman Marcus may well need those new customers after a year of a weak profits driven by the chain’s reliance on charging ever-higher prices to its wealthy clientele in an awful economy. In the quarter ended July 30, the chain posted profits of $31.6 million on sales of $4 billion. Compare that to the $241 million in profit Macy’s Inc. posted for the same period on sales of $5.9 billion, and it's easy to see why Neiman is seeking to expand its clientele.

Still, some of Neiman’s wealthy consumers will no doubt be sad to see their prized, brown and beige-strapped Neiman cards lose some of their cachet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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