Marcus, Stanley

1978 TLS from the 1950-76 head of Dallas-based luxury specialty retailer, Neiman Marcus

Price: $20.00

Description:
(1905-2002) Texas Jewish innovative businessman, early president (1950–72) and later chairman of the board (1972–76) of the luxury retailer Neiman-Marcus in Dallas, which his father and aunt founded in 1907. He published his memoir “Minding the Store” and wrote a regular column in The Dallas Morning News. After Neiman-Marcus was sold to Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Marcus initially remained in an advisory capacity to that company, but later began his own consulting business, which continued until his death. He was an avid patron of the fine arts and a civic leader. He introduced many of the innovations for which Neiman-Marcus became known, creating a national award for service in fashion and hosting art exhibitions in the store itself, and his department store was the 1st American haute couture boutique to introduce weekly fashion shows and an annual Fortnight event highlighting a different foreign country for 2 weeks each year. He established the Neiman-Marcus Christmas Catalogue, which became famous for extravagant "His and Hers" gifts such as airplanes and camels. Marcus prided himself on his staff's ability to provide service and value for each client, often citing his father's dictum, "There is never a good sale for Neiman Marcus unless it's a good buy for the customer." As a retailer, Marcus believed strongly in making his store into a place where everything a customer needed could be found and, if necessary, brought to the customer's front door. He supported the United Nations in its early years, an unpopular position in Dallas at the time. In the early 1950s he began to explore the ramifications of ending the store's participation in the practice of excluding black customers from shopping in the store, offering support for any black entrepreneur looking to establish a quality store and, in 1954, began hiring black staff in some departments. In the 1960s, Marcus became ever more convinced that his city and his company needed to take action to promote racial equality. In 1968, he announced that Neiman-Marcus's buyers would give preference to companies employing and training significant numbers of minority employees, making his firm one of the first companies in the nation to have such a policy. Marcus used his public-relations skills once again when Dallas was labeled "City of Hate" following the assassination of President Kennedy. He had cautioned that Kennedy's visit be reconsidered in light of the city's earlier poor reception of Adlai Stevenson and Vice President Lyndon Johnson. In Kennedy's memory, Marcus had 500 hand-typeset and bound copies printed of Kennedy's scheduled speech at the Dallas Trade Mart, the 1st copy given to Jacqueline Kennedy. On New Year's Day 1964, he took out a full-page advertorial in The Dallas Morning News titled, "What's Right With Dallas?" The editorial ad – a Neiman-Marcus tradition introduced by his father in the store's early days – both defended the city against outside critiques and offered more intimate criticisms from one who knew the town and its people well. Following JFK’s death, Marcus maintained close ties with LBJ and his administration, providing wedding dresses for both Johnsons daughters, personally assisting Luci Johnson in selecting the designer for her own dress and styles for her bridesmaids' gowns. In 1969, he recommended to the board of directors that the company merge with Broadway-Hale of California to have enough capital to expand. Neiman's subsequently became a subsidiary of Carter-Hawley Hale, Inc., and Marcus became corporate executive vice president and director of CHH. He retired as Chairman Emeritus in 1975, turning over the store to his son, Richard C. Marcus. He was an Inaugural inductee, Retailing Hall of Fame (2004); Inductee, Advertising Hall of Fame (1999); Inductee, Texas Business Hall of Fame (1984); Recipient, National Retail Merchants Association gold medal (1961); New York Fashion Designers Annual Award (1958); and, named one of the "20th Century Great American Business Leaders" by the Harvard Business School. TLS on 10 ½ x 7 ¼ Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc. letterhead, Dallas, Texas, January 30 1978, to Washington DC newspaperwoman Sally (Mrs. Earl Bernard) Steele, sending a card signed by Marcus and his wife (not present).

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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