Evan Smith: If Stanley Marcus were around to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Neiman Marcus this month, would he recognize the 2007 version of the company?
Burton Tansky: Yes, he would, and he’d be pleased. We’re larger than he ever imagined his company could be, but the idea of quality, of serving the customer, is very much alive. It’s what we’re all about.
ES: What’s changed since the company was sold two years ago to the private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus?
BT: The sale didn’t change our strategy whatsoever—not one iota of how we operate. We went from public to private and didn’t miss a beat. We’re working off the strategy that we developed before the sale, the five-year plan that was in place. Our expansion program is exactly the same as it was. We’ve pushed to open more stores. We’re exactly on target.
ES: How many stores now?
BT: Thirty-eight, soon to be 39.
ES: The thirty-ninth will open in—
BT: September. In Natick, Massachusetts, west of Boston.
ES: What other expansion plans are in the works?
BT: We’ve announced another 5 or 6, so that will take us to 45. And we continue to look for opportunities beyond that.
ES: What factors go into that sort of decision?
BT: It’s a simple process. We study the demographics of the community to