Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lululemon On The Move in Buckhead?

Canadian yogawear maker lululemon athletica appears to be on the move in Buckhead. After opening last November in what was then deemed a "temporary location," I have recently learned that lululemon intends to relocate to The Shops Around Lenox and open next door to the new DEKA Athletics. (I'm told an official announcement should come in the next 2 weeks or so) While lululemon refused to sell their merchandise to DEKA, it seems an ideal pairing considering that both retailers appeal largely to well-to-do females who work out and like looking fashionable at the same time. Originally, lululemon intended to take a space within Ben Carter's "The Streets of Buckhead," but they never officially signed on and instead opted for the temp space to have a retail presence in Buckhead, with the intention of finding a permanent home later. In addition to the their Buckhead retail location, the company has showrooms in Virginia Highland and in Marietta.

Just days after their opening on Roswell Road, there was a major water main break, and the entire store flooded. With any luck, lululemon's move to the Shops Around Lenox will be smoother. Local property investment firm Healy Weatherholtz purchased the Shops Around Lenox last year and has been working on a massive renovation and redevelopment of the center for months. In the past few weeks, work has progressed on the facade and on the area around the upcoming DEKA store. (DEKA was said to be open in late August but currently hopes to open by mid October)

While a number of restaurants and retailers have been bandied about as possible new tenants, the more interesting rumor is that one or more significant retailers from Lenox Square may opt to make the move to the outdoor shopping center, giving up prime locations within Lenox in favor of the outdoor center and undoubtedly lower rents. With Rhinoceros Boutique's recent closing and planned relocation to Chattanooga, American Apparel in bankruptcy and Merino's sales said to be "non-existent," it's likely a number of additional storefronts will become available in the center in the coming months. ToNeTo Atlanta

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