Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nani Sensorium Salon and Spa Closing at Atlantic Station


Not that its all too surprising, Nani Sensorium and Nani Salon and Spa are closing at Atlantic Station. After opening in 2007, I was shocked to have seen them make it this far. Atlantic Station is a smorgasbord of retail and this has been their downfall. They are attracting far different consumers than many of their stores are targeted towards. Knitch boutique found that out and closed, next up will be Taste. Pier 1 and Au Bon Pain also closed as their sales tanked. Nani had an interesting array of high end merchandise but never really garnered the following ( of paying customers) it would need to sustain itself. Many Repeat Atlanta readers have voiced their opinions regarding Atlantic Station in polls and by email, with yet another closure, what are your thoughts? Do you think this will work as a catalyst for Atlantic Station 2.0, with new merchants and a new restaurants? Maybe instead, this is the beginning of the end, tell us what you think in the comment section. Repeat Atlanta!

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

What does the end of Atlantic Station look like? All the shops closed or a sketchy place that no one wants to go?

Anonymous said...

Wig shop, beeper store and rim factory.

Anonymous said...

Rainbow, Skillz, DTLR, Cititrends, Payless Shoe Source. Those will soon take the place of Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Guess, and Nine West. Taste might survive a little while longer since it is marketed to the African-American community.

Anonymous said...

I second 11:28's comments. I don't think Atlantic Station is going to collectively close up shop. It'll eventually make itself work.

Anonymous said...

Ahh now I get. Down here in the "city too busy to hate" some you Jawjins just can't get over the fact that black people patronize Atlantic station in a city that happens to be majority black. You should all be proud of representing your state well.

As far as it being "smorgasbord of retail", that's what in the rest of the world we call a NEIGHBORHOOD (as opposed to the suburban mentality of everything being geared toward one income level, where everyone has to look alike).

Anonymous said...

OMG I'm sorry to pull the race card but the comments on this post some are absolutely appalling at how stereotypical and racist they sound. I mean my God we all now Atlantic station has fallen off quite a bit since its opening but at the same time have a heart people, comments like "wig shop, BEEPER store etc?!" Don't you think that's going a bit far? I mean who still uses beepers? Really?

Anonymous said...

But everyone DOES look alike in Atlantic Station! And they ain't buying Banana Republic chinos!

Anonymous said...

Sadly but surely, Atlantic Station will become what Underground Atlanta is today. Fortunately the city of Atlanta doesn't have to funnel a ton of money into Atlantic Station!

RobInATL said...

I love this blog and read it and post quite often but I don't understand why it's been allowed to become denigrated by racist comments. C'mon people - this site is about the economics of our retail industry, faulty expectations and, really, the inadequacies of Atlanta and it's public. And as a white resident of Atlantic Station, I'M offended.

Anonymous said...

These comments may be offensive and rude and racist BUT lets face it people, racism exists everywhere and people will not shop somewhere they do not feel comfortable. It is just as easy to take your business somewhere else and that is what is happening with Atlantic Station. I can easily say the majority of white people will not shop where they feel they are "the only white person" and I'm sure the same goes for blacks in an all white area.

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself! The entire premise that there is only one race at Atlantic station in a complete LIE.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of midtown which is majority white as far as demographics are concerned, I have never felt like I'm not going to shop somewhere in midtown because I am the only black person. Its 2009 and race tensions have come a long way. Tell me when is the last time you have heard of violence or arrests in Atlantic Station on the news? Its been a long time. I think white people are comfortable to shop in Atlantic Station just as blacks. just like Robin, this is absolutely ridiculous and its sad that you have to fear another race for any reason when all races commit crimes. Wasn't the craiglist killer Caucasian? Haven't most of the serial killers been Caucasian? Truth be told wouldnt that make me as a black person afraid of white people? Absolutely night. I love all people and all races we each bring unique characteristics to our environment. This has got to stop.

Anonymous said...

Atl Station has been hamstrung by a few things that have nothing to do with race:

1. Parking- paid parking, in a huge deck. Where else do you have to pay for parking to shop in Atlanta?

2. The Wrong Mix- It's hard to sell $200 jeans in a store 100 feet from a grocery store. Don't know of anyone that does this successfully in NYC.

3. The Wrong Stores- If you put Nani Sensorium in Phipps, it would have closed. Lenox? Would have closed. You can't sell $200 jeans when there's a massage table sitting in front of it. That, and the store had a very strange mix of merchandise. Not destined to succeed.

4. Geographically Isolated- The neighborhood is an island on to itself. No one is "strolling" over to Atl Station. See reason #1- if you want to go there, you have to deal with the parking deck.

5. Recession- again, nothing to do with race. Their timing couldn't have been worse.

Let's have a healthy debate as to why Atlantic Station hasn't succeeded. Talking about beeper stores is just insipid blabber, and we all know it.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying it is because there too many black people?

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head: having to PAY to park - even 50 cents - absolutely rubs me the wrong way. And the underground dungeon-style parking deck is extremely unattractive.

But the real problem with Atlantic Station is that once the novelty wears off and the initial euphoria fades, we begin to ask ourselves: "Why are we here? What's so special or unique about this place that would make us want to return?" The answer: NOTHING, except possibly IKEA.

Atlantic Station is simply a collection of office buildings, strange-looking apartments and condos, and a bizarre collection of retail. It will be truly interesting to see what the place looks like 10 or 20 years from now.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see how race has anything to do with it. There are usually plenty of Hip-Hopsters at Lenox Square, and you rarely hear of people feeling "uncomfortable"
or "frightened".

As has been mentioned before, Atlanta is an incredibly diverse city, and everyone should feel welcome everywhere.

ProShop99 said...

Race should not be the dominant factor in discussion Atlantic Station but many readers seem inclined to do so. Truth is the comments made at 11:14 AM yesterday are all things I agree with. Poor mix of stores, isolated location and having to pay for parking. On the other hand 5:33 AM's comment about Lenox is not accurate. Hermes is attracting more of its core clientele now that they are away from the "diversity" that is Lenox Square. Many of their "Buckhead Betty" clients simply didn't want to visit the mall on certain days because so much "diversity" or on Saturdays in particular lack there of, made them uncomfortable. Their new location is in the heart of Buckhead and has valet parking at the door. Not to say that I feel all high end stores re-locating to S.O.B. is a solution, or the way it should be done, but the truth is Lenox can get uncomfortable on certain days the way Atlantic Station can most weekend nights (for some).

Anonymous said...

"Why are we here? What's so special or unique about this place that would make us want to return?"

I'm wondering if people are also asking themselves these questions regarding Midtown Promenade or Midtown Place shopping centers. Or are those places are considered "special"?

If you live intown and would like to patronize the businesses at Atlantic Station you go there without having to drive to Butthead or someplace else. If they don't interest you, you go someplace else, simple as that.

RobInATL said...

Honestly, this blog embarrasses me. I just don't understand people but it doesn't matter how many people agree or disagree. It is NOT the racial mix, it is the mix of retail that doesn't work for AS. It is the parking situation. It is also the recession, stupid!

Why is everything in this city about race. Do you ever stop to think how you people sound? The South will always be the South - a disgusting facade of fake attitudes and a snobbery that belies a very strong feeling of not being as good or as smart as other areas of the country. I still believe that the heat has cooked your brains.
Please stay out of AS - we don't want your patronage. So stay in your clan infested areas where you feel so safe because you don't see a face that's not your own color. And this coming from a white guy.

Anonymous said...

How ridiculously dramatic. Can't people make or debate observations without it being racist or a indictment of all things Southern? Maybe if Atlantic Station had an ounce of southern charm, it wouldn't be so drab.

If I point out that you will not find white people on the stretch of Peachtree south of Underground Atlanta despite it being a bustling pedestrian area, does that make me racist?

d-nice said...

The guacamole at Rosa is too good to stay away from Atlantic Station! I am a white dude from the burbs (just inside the perimeter) and there is nothing about Atlantic Station that seems unsafe. I think there will always be a subset of the population that likes to hang out around their own. Black or white. So since AS is successfully multicultural those folks will likely always stay away. But, AS has too nice a base of residents and office tenants to not be able to support some level of retail. And that fact will only improve over time. Maybe the mix will become more neighborhood oriented, instead of destination driven. Or probably a nice combination of both over time. But I will agree with the other challenges AS faces, confusing parking situation, a city that prefers surface and free parking, and a horrible economy.

Anonymous said...

They don't even enforce what should be common standards. Quite a bit of the neon on the sign for the theater has been burned out for a long time now.

Anonymous said...

It was packed today. People shopping everywhere. All the restaurants were busy and the patios full. People had bags from all of the stores. Now of course, the majority were African American, but at least people are shopping!
I noticed the neon light out too. I think there was a light out in one of the street lights. Maybe they can get one of the maintenance men to fix that. Do you know who to call?
My parking was free though so I'm not sure what everyone is talking about.

Anonymous said...

dear ProShop99, what is it with you??? You have positive things to say about all other areas of Atlanta, but when it comes to Atlantic Station you do not have a nice bone in your body. Do you even know what you're talking about? Why don't you walk into H&M and talk to someone who actually knows what's going on! Did you know that their Atlantic Station location is the #1 store in Atlanta? Probably not because why would you find anything positive to say about a brown field redevelopment in the center of Midtown. I think you should try to develop a project of this magnitude, get it leased up and then see the direction it ends up going all on its own...

ProShop99 said...

Dear Anonymous #XXXX,

Let me start by thanking you for reading and commenting on this story. While I do have many positive things to say, I also have some not so great things to say. While I may think Atlantic Station is a sad excuse for "urban development", I'm also not high on Straits restaurant, The Streets of Buckhead as well as Pure Denim at Lenox. As you can see from the responses to this posting there are many people on both sides when it comes to Atlantic Station. While I don't agree that its simply a race issue, there are problems that were have not been addressed by the developer but have been said before on Repeat Atlanta.

"1.Parking- paid parking, in a huge deck. Where else do you have to pay for parking to shop in Atlanta?

2. The Wrong Mix- It's hard to sell $200 jeans in a store 100 feet from a grocery store. Don't know of anyone that does this successfully in NYC.

3. The Wrong Stores- If you put Nani Sensorium in Phipps, it would have closed. Lenox? Would have closed. You can't sell $200 jeans when there's a massage table sitting in front of it. That, and the store had a very strange mix of merchandise. Not destined to succeed."

While I do agree the Regal Cinemas, H&M and IKEA are great, the others are a step above Northlake mall at best. Other than those who happen to live in Atlantic Station or are going to one of those 3 tenants, there is little reason for one to go. With regards to your comment on H&M, of course they do well! They are the largest store in GA and were labeled "the Flagship" months before opening. With GT and GSU a couple of miles away, its only that much easier for a store like that to do well. It could do the same business in 180 Peachtree, Atlantic Station just happens to be the development to house them. But honestly, to say Atlantic Station is a success is a joke, while I agree its better than an abandoned steel mill, it was not developed or leased to its fullest potential.

Anonymous said...

ProShop, I find it funny that you keep repeating that you can't sell $200 jeans next to a grocery store and that you dont' see this in NY. Hmmm. Have you been on the streets of NY? Perhaps the Whole Foods that is up on Columbus Circle, or maybe the Whole Foods that is down in the 20s and is tagged by some boutiques? But you'll say that is excused because Whole Foods isn't a grocery store. Well, there are plenty of markets in NY that are bounded by stores that sell high end items.
You do have a grudge against Atlanta Station and why do you always talk about the parking? Can you not afford $1? By the look of the traffic to this site, you obviously aren't reeling in the ad dollars.

Too bad.

The Repeatant said...

Why wouldnt the Repeater repeat? Interesting thing about the internet: You can have the freedom of speech yet lack the courage to stand behind what you say by posting anonymously. "By the look of the traffic to this site, you obviously aren't reeling in the ad dollars." Im sure however, that they are paying you the big bucks at H&M.

Thanks for sharing!
~Caleb J. Spivak

Anonymous said...

I love H&M. They have great underwear. And other things. I hope they don't close. Are they on Deathwatch?

ProShop99 said...

No, H&M is no on the DeathWatch. They are one of the few bright spots of Atlantic Station and one of the major reasons it does well on the days that it does.

citysuzy said...

Oh no, I've told all of my friends that H&M might be closing. We love H&M and Atlantic Station so we're going to go there and shop this weekend.
This sight is scaring me about all of the great stores that are on the death watch. Shoot, I won't have anyplace to shop.
Keep H&M, Guess and Bath and Body Works in biz. That should be our chant.

Thank you

Cindy Roandale said...

There's a yum yum chocolate place at AS too. They give samples too so sometimes I don't have the buy. They have yummy ice cream also.
Doesn't anyone else like the Gap and Black/White? I always do my shopping at AS.

Cindy

Anonymous said...

Honestly the idea that grocery stores and places that sell $200 jeans need to neatly segregated is the suburban mentality that is all too prevalent in the south. Is it that the people buying the $200 jeans are offended by food or something? That's just not how things work in REAL cities.

On the famed Michigan Ave there are Walgreens, Marshalls and several grocers. I guess noone told tell them thats not going to work.

Anonymous said...

The overall atmosphere of AS has changed since it opened in 2005 (estimation). The first couple of years it was a nice place to dine, shop and play. I decided to stop going once I went to Fox Sport Grill on a Saturday night and saw that it had become club 559. Since, I have moved back to my home town of Atlanta in 2008 and visited AS for numerous events like cirque de sol, food festival, and the exhibitions (to name a few) I have noticed that it has become ghetto. It is not only a fashion show, but a breeding ground for horny men to yell at you to get your attention. I’ve learned not to go to AS during certain days and times or not to go there at all. Not only, is the economy affecting stores business, but also the overall clientele of AS has changed causing certain stores to close over others. Also, the comment on Lenoxx mall people ( all races) learn the best times to shop so they won’t have to deal with riff raff. F.Y.I I am a black woman and yes my people do bother me when they act like they have no sense.

GlamourGirl said...

Wow! I had no idea that so many people had negative thoughts on Atlantic Station..I've lived in Atlanta for a little over 2 yrs now, and whenever i have friends come in town, I take them there...I personally like that Atlantic Station has so much to do in one place. You have the movies, you have shoppings, nice restaurants that host events...Its a nice place to go..Now i do agree that the condos and apts are OVERPRICED, but for those who want to live at the mall, by all means go ahead and pay..and as far as parking, if you think of any other major city-Chicago, Manhattan, D.C parking is always the issue so its not just Atlanta, and as rapidly as the city is expanding, builders have to built up to accomodate space...So if you plan on living in Atlanta and it becoming a heavily metropolitan area in the years to come, be prepared to deal with parking like the other cities do. Its a part of wanting convienence and living...The race card being pulled is just ridiculous and i notice it so much more when i moved to Atlanta than i did when i lived in VA/DC which is where im from. Personally, I dont see Atlantic Station turning into the Underground, but i dont know what the underground looked like before. And there are sketchy neighborhoods all over Atlanta so dont pull race just because its occupied predominately by Black people, because if i recall on the news there were quite a few break-ins and robberies, in these ritzy dunwoody, duluth neighborhoods predominately occupied by white people, so crime is crime-there is no race card to pull with it because the last time i checked Midtown and the VA Highlands isnt so safe at night....But overall, as an African American young single woman, living in Buckhead, working at an upscale salon in Grant park, i love the fact that the there is something for everyone in Atlanta..If you dont agree move...

Anonymous said...

One: I work at H&M in Atlantic Station, and we are not doing as well as most people hoped/expect, but we will be around for a while.
Two: It is bad timing for AS to have opened when it did, for the people that paid the $300,000 for the condos that after a year and a half were reduced for a quicker sale, which then led the value of the neighboring houses and condos to go down, I don't blame them for selling their homes (If my neighbor's house was 80,000 less than mine but equal in physical value.)
Three: They should have a stronger police force, the rape and two shootings and one robbery COULD (not saying it would) have been prevented if they had such.
Four: Parking is free if you keep it under an hour OR if you're there to see a movie (in which case you can get money back)
Five: Crime IS crime, it only happens if people think they can get away with it. Maybe security cameras in the shadier parts of AS? But then you'd have to charge the residents a monthly maintenance fee.. so maybe not.

Reactionary said...

A rape and two shootings in an upscale retail/residential development? That's just great. Must have been those gangs venturing south from their subdivision bases up in Dunwoody.

Atlanta had better elect a law-and-order, pro-business mayor who isn't beholden to the government unions and the Section 8/HUD enclaves. He (and it needs to be a he) ought to let the police department off the leash for cracking some heads. Because we are very, very near the tipping point for full-on capital flight out of the city.

Anonymous said...

And despite one's opinions on race, we all know what white flight does to a city's core. There are plenty of precedents from years past to prove such.

Whether white or black, when the successful people move out, the nice buildings and/or homes that they inhabited become slums. Then some urban renewist comes in and says "tear it all down and let's start over again." Except after they tear it down, they fail to rebuild due to economics or poor financial management or what have you. This leads to a plethora of surface parking lots and other urban eyesores.

All because the incompetent city leadership couldn't keep the thugs under control enough to keep success from going to the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

They were selling gift certificates just a week or two before they closed. I'm not sure if they were selling them until the day the closed. Unfortunately, we were left with a gift certificate and no way to redeem it.

Atlantic Station doesn't vet potential retailers very well and I think it's causing them some headaches now. Nani left and they only had one contact number for the store and salon. Since no one is responding to their calls we can assume the gift cards will never be seen. If anyone has a suggestion of reaching this company or getting refunds on certificates for these closed stores...please share.

They should screen these businesses more carefully. Most boutiques are reputable but the retail centers need to get a sense of the retailers business plan before they just let anyone open here.

Anonymous said...

Oooh,the moderator wants to poke the hornet's next again! I would love to see AS succeed, and I think that by and large it is trending in the right direction now.

I agree with the folks who decry the racist undertones of many of AS's detractors, but let's not make this a false choice. AS can be a place where people of all races want to go and spend money, but NOT if it degrades into a place of low-class and threatening behavior.

There are a few businesses that are bringing crowds that don't spend money, that intimidate those who do (whether fair or not), and who have committed crimes. If AS can focus their attention on those businesses, while welcoming law-abiding people of all backgrounds, then they can strike a good balance and succeed.

Let AS become Underground and it, just like Underground, will fail.

Perhaps it is just patently unfair that many Atlantans don't feel comfortable around some segments of Black Atlanta, but the reality is that for AS to succeed, it needs to attract and retain folks who will spend money and encourage more people who spend money to make the trip. Black/white/other, I really don't care, AS simply cannot survive if it is perceived as threatening.