Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bebe A Big Letdown at Lenox Square

Womens clothing label Bebe will be taking a big piece of the former first level of Crate & Barrel at Lenox Square.  Bebe is relocating and expanding from its current location just across thehallway. If memory serves, this will mark Bebe's third move in the mall as its current space was for many years HMV, before which Bebe was elsewhere in the mall.

I heard that Bebe had signed on for this space over two months ago from someone who is usually a reliable source, but I could not believe this was true.  But signage announcing their new store is already up and the new store should be open late this fall.

Many shoppers and readers had hoped that either a new to market retailer like Mango or new to the mall retailer such as H&M would open in some of the vacant space, but it seems that may not happen.

The Bebe store will occupy the a significant portion along the right hand side of the store, and continue down the short hallway where Panera has additional seating.

Months ago sources told me that both Apple and Urban Outfitters were interested in relocating to the former Crate & Barrel space, but I have since learned that there are a number of obstacles in their way. Although Urban Outfitters intentions were confirmed by store management, their move seems less likely given the fact that a move to the front of the mall would come with much higher rent, something they may be hesitant to cough up, given their success in their current location.

As far as Apple goes, despite the fact that a Apple store on the front of the mall sounds great to me, Simon feels that Apple is a people magnet in the mall and prefers them inside where they can draw customers into it.  To have them so close to the parking lot would make it easy to lug your Mac to your car, but make it less likely that you would walk through the mall and stop in other mall stores along the way.

Nothing seems to have been confirmed as of yet, and if it has been, no one at Simon is saying anything.  The one thing I do know is that PF Changs continues to be mentioned as a replacement for Lenox Square Grill and that although Cheescake Factory was also at one time in talks to come to the mall, they balked at the rent and opted to remain at their stand-alone building on Peachtree south of the mall.  


What would you like to see open in the front portion of Lenox Square?  Do you share my disappointment at just a relocation of a ubiquitous retailer?  Would you rather have another relocation like Apple or a new to the mall retailer like H&M?

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pf changs is NOT going there. I know that for fact.

A Grand Luxe Cafe would be nice. I agree with Simon about Apple. Thats actually smart of them. apple needs to put a flagship on peachtree.

Mary said...

Do you mean Corner Bakery? I don't think there's a Panera in the mall, is there?

KennethBenoit said...

Oh wow!!! And not only do we have bebe at Lenox, the origional bebe opened in 1992 at Phipps Plaza, so now you have to wonder what will happen with the small bebe at Phipps.
Tisha Melay, the Simon Marketing Director must be on acid or something. She had a chance for H&M, Mango, Topshop/Topmen,or maybe a Guess? Flagship and put Guess by Marciano in the former Guess Spot, bring back Restoration Hardware, work a reduced rent deal with Urban Outfitters or the Cheesecake Factory. A nice LARGE Henri Bendel would be nice or a Emporio Armani Flagship. Oh well maybe Tisha is old school and her days are numbered. Maybe Simon needs to bring in the Leasing Manager of South Coast Plaza offer a huge raise and get not only Lenox, but get Phipps back on track as they should be. I guess the second level is being reserved for a WAL-MART ON THE GO store. Haha!!! Just like Sears is in talks with Belk to purchase thier Phipps Plaza store. And the Bloomingdale's at Lenox will convert to a Burlington Coat Factory Flagship. Hahaha. These are just examples of how far Tisha Melay is off course and I only wish that Forbes would buy Lenox and Phipps. They own the Mall At Mellinia in Orlando, and the Somerset Collection in Troy, a wealthy suburb of Detroit. Or even Taubman Centers. Simon says, "I suck!"

Atlantan99 said...

@Mary,

There is a Panera Bread on the first level near the new Bebe and also a Corner Bakery on the second level almost directly above PB

Anonymous said...

The PSF rent they are charging for the space there is about triple what Crate & Barrel was paying. That's been keeping retailers away from the space in general.

Anonymous said...

I heard Cheesecake Factory may move there from buckhead... They are frustrated with traffic backups and the slow progress on Streets of Buckhead...

kittenmasks said...

Ugh, Lenox has turned into a nightmare. I'm kinda surprised Neiman's has such around there for so long when it's so clear that Lenox is turning into a second rate mall. While I do appreciate a "luxury" wing, everything else around it is so horrid that I'd rather shop online.

The suggestion of adding Guess is just as worse as Bebe. I'm so grossed out by all the cheap, trashy, knock off Kardashian club wear that's plaguing the Atlanta retail market. But it's clear that Simon is completely out of touch. The disappearance of Barney's (albeit a co-op) is one of the saddest closings this year. Atlanta is an up and coming luxury market. Obviously something is going terribly wrong when Hermes decided to construct a stand alone shop next to an IRISH PUB rather than pay rent to Simon.

Anonymous said...

Well if you must know Majority of the Barney Co ops stores closed for example the Houston store closed thats nothing new. The reason why Hermes isnt in Lenox anymore is because before streets of Buckhead crashed they were supposed to be relocating to that development . Once that development is complete Hermes well open a 2 story store there. Prada Herve Leger Fendi Zegna C wonder Gregorys and a expanded LV and Ferragamo store are the lastest addition to the mall thats pretty good to me.

Kenneth Benoit said...

@ kittenmask

Well it was only an idea to attract the young 20 somethings that might not be ready with thier disposable income to wear Emporio Armani, Custo Barcelona, or others. The last poster is right though, much luxury retail has been added to Lenox that was not previously there. I think theory was a loss, but then I heard the store only carried women's ready to wear. If it had carried the men's ready to wear, it might have been much more successful.
Atlantans are picky about thier designers, and if not well established and not known, they tend to stay away. Barneys CO-OP carried just that type of merchandise, so it failed here as well as in Houston, and I have heard more CO-OP's are going to be shuttered because of bad store performace.

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Anonymous said...

I don't get how Apple can be happy so deep in the bowels of Lenox with all the activity happening outside it right now. I'd really rather see them with a street level store in somewhere like Buckhead Atlanta, or alternatively Simon should develop their massive parking lots along Peachtree and Apple should locate there.