NEW YORK (AP) – Neiman Marcus hopes to capitalize on rising luxury sales by investing more than $ 500 million in business refresh, accelerating shipments and acquiring new technology over the next three years.

The plan unveiled on Tuesday includes a pact to buy from Stylyze Inc., a tech startup that recommends outfits to customers based on previous purchases and browsing history. Neiman Marcus has been working with the company since 2018 and, according to the CEO of luxury retailer Geoffroy van Raemdonck, decided to buy it direct because of its potential. He says machine learning technology has helped turn online browsers into buyers and keep shoppers coming back again and again.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Neiman Marcus emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September, one of the most famous personal bankruptcies at the start of the pandemic. The privately owned department store chain, like many of its competitors, was forced to temporarily close its stores for several months. However, the bankruptcy court’s restructuring helped reduce its debt to $ 1.1 billion in April, down from $ 5.1 billion the previous year. And Neiman Marcus currently has more than $ 850 million in available cash compared to $ 132 million a year ago.

“Last year we strengthened the foundation of our business,” said van Raemdonck in a statement. “We knew relaxation was coming, and we are witnessing the return of luxury, which is accelerating.”

Neiman Marcus reports that comparable sales for March and April – or sales in stores that have been open for at least a year, a key retail metric – were relatively stable when compared to the same period in fiscal 2019. Results for the third quarter of the fiscal year, which ended in April, were generally as planned, showing signs of business returning to pre-pandemic levels with a strong e-commerce business that accounts for about 35% of sales has returned.

Van Raemdonck reiterated the company’s strategy of focusing on high-end luxury customers – specifically the 40% of Neiman Marcus shoppers who spend at least $ 10,000 a year at the retailer.

Van Raemdonck told The Associated Press that he doesn’t think the recovery is temporary. He noted that New York and the West Coast – two big markets – didn’t fully reopen, which offers a great selling point. In addition, many wealthy customers have not returned to their normal social life from traveling and partying, which gives them more reasons to shop for clothes.

“That’s the tailwind that is yet to come,” he added.

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