Designer Alex Soldier’s woes getting consigned goods returned from bankrupt Neiman Marcus were recently featured on the CNBC web series Money Dispute, hosted by Kevin O’Leary (also known as Mr. Wonderful).
“I run my family business with my dad,” said company executive director Maria Soldier (pictured), daughter of the company’s founder and namesake, on the show. “We have been hit very hard with this pandemic, especially with our retail partner, Neiman Marcus, declaring Chapter 11.”
Neiman Marcus declared Chapter 11 in May.
“We currently have 80% of our inventory consigned with them, which amounts to $200,000 that we currently can’t get back. We have tried to contact them and get our inventory back, before they declared Chapter 11, but we were unable to.”
O’Leary responded that he had good news and bad news for her.
The good, he said, was that “the inventory is on consignment, which means Maria still owns it.” (That has been challenged in a few bankruptcies, generally without success.)
However, bankruptcy makes it harder to get items back, he said.
“What usually happens in situations like this is you start making calls. Nobody answers. Nobody cares. You’re one of a thousand people screaming to get your money back out of a bankruptcy.”
O’Leary added, “One of the good things about being Mr. Wonderful is people return your calls.” He said Neiman immediately called him back, and he asked them to resolve things.
“And, of course, I’d be checking in a few days to make sure it all worked out,” he said.
Soldier later appeared on the show and said that Neiman Marcus called and asked her the paperwork, which she quickly provided.
“The head of jewelry got back to me, he apologized for not getting back to me earlier,” she said. She has since received her inventory back.
O’Leary said she was helped by her “meticulous record keeping.”
“Without that, I couldn’t have helped you,” he said. “You’ve done a great job tracking all this stuff and making sure you knew where it was.”
Soldier profusely thanked the host, noting that if he hadn’t gotten involved, it’s quite possible the business would have folded.
She closed by inviting O’Leary to the company’s New York City gallery in Times Square.
In a statement, the company said that “desperate times call for desperate measures, and so a crazy idea materialized itself to reach out to Kevin O’Leary and ask for help.” The company thanked Larry Pelzel and his Neiman Marcus jewelry team for their timely assistance.
She later made a video thanking O’Leary again and showing off the collection.
Neiman Marcus did not return a request for comment by publication time.
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