United Colors of Benetton closed their longtime Lenox Square location last night but will keep open their location at Phipps Plaza. Based in Teviso, Italy, Benetton Group S.p.A., the parent company of the chain, encompasses over 6000 locations in over 120 countries. The location at Phipps Plaza, on the upper level near the string of shuttered GAP stores, was previously branded "Sisley," another division of Benetton, but was re-branded a couple of years back. I'm told that both locations were franchised, possibly by the same owner, and that the decision was made to consolidate operations.
I personally think that Phipps is the less ideal mall for the chain. Perhaps Simon has another tenant lined up for the location at Lenox. Years ago, U.C.O.B. had a location at Mall of Georgia, but that location closed as well. Honestly, given the style and pricing of the clothing, the chain seemed better suited for Discover Mills or Northlake Mall. Benetton was popular and relevant with consumers in the 90's but I feel they have fallen behind chains like H&M and Zara in reacting to changes in trends and customer demands. I don't know the pricing or leasing arrangements at Phipps, but given its upper end tenants and high end clientele, don't be surprised if they leave Phipps within the year too.
Side note, just because its on my mind... what's with all the shifting and consolidating between Lenox and Phipps?
Gap closed their Gap Body (the only one ITP), Gap Maternity and Gap Kids locations at Phipps to make way for the now defunct Forth & Towne brand. Harold's left their longstanding Lenox Square location to shift to a portion of the former Gap space at Phipps, but closed not long after. When Neiman Marcus expanded, Sharper Image left Lenox to move to Phipps, but then closed soon after. Bally relocated from Lenox to Phipps Plaza, and Nike left their giant Niketown store at Phipps for a smaller concept store at Lenox. Then of course there's Abercrombie's departure from Phipps to open in the former F.A.O Schwarz at Lenox.
As far as duplications... Williams-Sonoma, bebe, Brookstone, Coach, Gateway Newsstand, Mayor's, Mori Luggage & Gifts, Sunglass Hut International, Teavana, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Great Wraps, Sbarro, Subway and Planet Smoothie all have locations at both Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. Am I crazy or is this a lot of overlap?