Neiman Marcus Christmas Book covers the fantasy spectrum from an RV to a $48,500 Russian sable coat

(Neiman Marcus/Instagram)

Did you think a pandemic and a bankruptcy reorganization would put Neiman Marcus out of the fantasy gift business? Not a chance.

The Dallas-based luxury retailer is back at it this year fulfilling its 94-year tradition of creating over-the-top gifts for the holiday. The book has plenty of bling, but this year it’s adapting to the times with lots of clothing and items for hanging out at home and ideas for luxury travel minus the crowds.

Destinations of fantasy trips in the 2020 Christmas Book are as remote as it gets: Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap and the Sheldon Chalet in Alaska. There’s no car this year, but there is a luxury off-grid travel option. The Bowlus Endless Highway RV costs $255,000 and has an electrical system that can go from Los Angeles to New York City and back on a single charge.

“Everyone is going to have a different holiday this year,” Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck said. The book addresses the reality that people are spending more time at home, he said.

A couple of this year’s fantasy gifts keep on giving, such as the case of wine a month for a year after a stay at the Montage Healdsburg vineyard in Northern California that comes at a total price of $215,000.

A $185,000 trip to the Perini Ranch includes a year’s supply of beef from a Black Angus steer. Or you can opt for just a taste of that fantasy gift with the option of a $215 tenderloin and a $35 cookbook from the ranch. The steer is a nod back to the origins of Neiman Marcus’ fantasy gifts: Stanley Marcus and his brothers put one in the 1959 catalog.

A year of pampering at home and at Canyon Ranch costs $345,000. A game room designed by Jonathan Adler is $145,000. There’s one fantasy gift that’s only available to customers in the store’s InCircle loyalty program. It’s a fully installed custom library curated by publisher Assouline with a theme of “travel from home” that costs $295,000. The book also said that free shipping will be faster for InCircle customers. More than 40% of the luxury chain’s revenue comes from its InCircle customers, who annually spend 14 times more than nonmembers.

Many of the fantasy gifts come with $10,000 donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The 2020 Christmas Book is 148 pages, smaller than last year’s 300-page catalog, but Neiman Marcus said it increased circulation by 100,000 copies to 750,000 this year to reach more customers.

Statement jewelry pieces are included from several designers such as David Yurman, Anita Ko, Nikos Koulis, Elizabeth Locke and Roberto Coin. A limited-to-50 edition Chanel diamond watch costs $14,300.

There are casual jackets and hiking boots in the book, but there’s also a $48,500 Russian sable coat by Gorski.

Casual clothing and loungewear are more prominent than evening gowns and tuxedos this year.

This Neiman Marcus Christmas Book features a wide range of price points, from $135 Bedhead holiday pajamas to $3,495 Kiton sweatpants. There’s not a specific his-and-hers gift this year, but there’s merchandise to pair. Recycled cashmere is a thing, and a collection made exclusively for Neiman Marcus by TSE includes a $450 pullover for her and a $395 version for him.

Men’s sneakers are still a big item. Featured pairs start at $560 from Alexander McQueen, Balmain and Balenciaga.

Dallas-based Kate Weiser’s chocolate Carl the snowman that turns into hot chocolate is back. Food and drink serving pieces include steak knives and various martini glasses and shaker sets. While the $50,000 Dolce & Gabbana refrigerator is still available on, the retailer’s catalog this year features a pasta and apron gift set from the Italian brand in a brightly colored tin for $180.

The catalog makes suggestions for a stay-at-home holiday, offering ways to hold a video chat and unwrap gifts by revealing a photo or link followed by the gift sent directly to the recipient. The catalog also includes the official rules for a White Elephant gift exchange.

Neiman Marcus exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September as a smaller company after closing several stores, but it also shed $4 billion in debt.

Its customers continue to buy luxury items but have shifted to categories that are less about going out and more about the quality of time spent at home or somewhere else, van Raemdonck said. The gifts are designed to make that time “memorable.”

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