Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Atlantic Station Childrens Boutique Calls it Quits After 72 Days!

abby & co. has closed at Atlantic Station.

abby & co. has closed its children's boutique at Atlantic Station after a shockingly short run.  The boutique opened in the beleaguered midtown project February 16th and celebrated its Grand Opening February 22nd.  Abby & co. was located on Atlantic Drive, near DSW.  

Abby & co. reportedly closed last night and today posted a short message to their facebook page: 

"You win some and you lose some. There were so many factors leading to our decision to close the shop. It was completely unexpected and had to be somewhat quick. We are so sad to see it go. We thank you all so much for your support and love through this short lived time. No worries though! We aren't going anywhere just no physical location :( "

The mention of no physical location would seem to hint at the store continuing to operate online.  Albeit for different reasons, abby & co.'s move to online only mirrors that of Raw Denim which last month shuttered its midtown store to operate online only.  

Surprisingly, the boutique was already gone from the Atlantic Station website as of noon today.  Additionally, a map provided to me by Atlantic Station via email was devoid of any mention of abby & co.   

The boutique featured a curated collection of women's and children's apparel as well as toys and games from assorted designers and manufacturers including Sugar Paper, Archipelago, Simpatico, Zoli, Lollacup and Dino Bebe.  abby & co, differentiated themselves by featuring eco-friendly, organic and locally made products. The shop was named for owner Hanna Lim's young daughter Abby.  

While independent, boutique, retail is no doubt a tough business, Atlantic Station was simply not the right location for abby & co.  Given the well merchandised store, with locally hard to find merchandise, I think the boutique would have stood a far better chance of survival had it been located in either Buckhead or Decatur.  The Shops Around Lenox come to mind as the perfect Buckhead location while the synergies of existing local downtown Decatur businesses would have been a great fit as well. 

Abby & co. is not alone in struggling at Atlantic Station. Multi-brand restaurant operator Darden is reportedly unhappy with the sales of its Yard House restaurant at Atlantic Station.  Real estate sources also say that overall traffic and sales are reportedly down at Atlantic Station, possibly due to the center's reliance on special events to draw shoppers.  

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

No surprise. The "urban" shopper that make up the majority of Atlantic Station's customers wouldn't buy this kind of stuff. It's only a matter of time before Atlantic Station resembles Underground Atlanta or Southlake Mall.

Anonymous said...

Bulldoze and start over

The Anti-Gnostic said...

American bourgeois are withdrawing from public spaces. They are packing in to gentrified neighborhoods and expensive school districts where they can be among their own. They can stay home and shop from online retail rather than venture into the hostile territory which area malls are becoming.

We will know early on how that hugely expensive gamble in Buckhead will turn out. From the advertising on those enormous condo buildings, the developer seems to be betting a lot on the venture's attractiveness to affluent, single, white females--not exactly a booming demographic.

Anonymous said...

Had Atlantic Station attempted to become an organic extension of Home Park keeping the existing street grid and refraining from making 17th St in the style of Holcomb Bridge Road, I think it would have done much better. It has no sense of place. No character. Nothing that attracts clientele with sustainable buying power.

Anonymous said...

IKEA is my only destination when I venture ITP to AS. I can get similar retail and restaurants in my own community. The AS community needs to get on the bandwagon and support their own. They have no one to blame but themselves when it fails.

Anonymous said...

@Anti-Gnostic: Buckhead Atlanta is going to knock the cover off the ball. The project offers retailers and restaurants that cannot be found elsewhere in Atlanta and probably the Southeast. Other than location, Atlantic Station doesn't offer anything unique. It's essentially no different than Town Brookhaven or Avalon when it comes down to it.

The "condos" at Buckhead Atlanta are actually apartments. Their site has renderings and floorplans now and pricing for 1 bdrms is coming in around $2.25 psf, which is very rich for an entry point. They have condo finishes but the developer has publicly said they do not intend to convert them as that is not their M.O. Whether or not that holds is another issue.

The problems Buckhead Atlanta will face will be access and then ensuring it is somewhere people go to spend money versus walk around and hang out (see Lenox. Most of the people there aren't actually buying anything). If they cannot keep youth away from there loitering and walking around causing what the moneyed people in Buckhead would perceive as a problem then it may have issues.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all of the above. Loitering youth, most of whom are black, do create negative perceptions and have tainted the reputations of both Atlantic Station (which never had a chance to build a good reputation because this was a problem from the start) and Lenox Square. There's no politically way to say that. It's just the truth.

Anonymous said...

Great point! Let's replace them all with loitering white youth. Then we will all feel safe walking around waving hundred dollar bills in the air and yelling "look at me I'm rich, and I feel safe since white youth don't rob or rape people!" And old ladies can wear their 10 pound diamond rings again in peace just like back in the olden days with happy darkies singing in the field while Miss Scarlet primps around throwing hissy fits!!

Anonymous said...

Stores come and stores go for a variety of reasons. Don't know what the details are regarding abby & co, but I do know that Atlantic Station has had remarkable improvement over the past 3 years. It's not perfect, but no place is. It's also attracts a much more diverse crowd than a few years ago and the loitering problem of a few years ago has largely been nipped in the bud. The trend lines for Atlantic Station are up, not down. The place is actually quite safe relative to just about any other place within Atlanta city limits and it's unfortunate that some still don't seem to understand that. Overall trend for the future is that more people want to live in the city. Atlantic Station is unique in the sense that it offers access to inner city living and amenities, while still offering some suburban amenities at the same time. Atlantic Station is also accessible by public transportation, as well as by both I-75 and I-85 in a way that few of the latest hot places within the city limits are. I think that should ultimately bode well for future office building and residential development a few years down the road in Atlantic Station. When the Braves open their new ballpark in Cobb in 2017, such ballpark will be easily accessible by those who live in Atlantic Station, just as the new Falcons stadium and Philips Arena are. If one is a sports fan, I can't think of another neighborhood where the cumulative access to all of Atlanta's major venues will be better.

Anonymous said...

Atlantic Station is totally fine and nice. Retail and customer mix seems to match the city, in a good way. Yard House also always seems busy (but of course, totally anecdotal). Just went to http://www.abbyandco.com/ and the site is currently shut down. It looks like their issues might be deeper than poor sales at AS. No one bolts retail after 2 months.

Anonymous said...

how exactly is the new Braves ballpark "easily accessible" to anyone living in Atlantic Station, let alone anyone living ITP? Traffic flows north on 75 at that time of day and there is no public transportation up there, nor will there ever be according to the shortsighted people running the show in Cobb.

I also agree that Atlantic Station has had a great turnaround over the last three years but it still doesn't offer anything truly unique. Maybe to some people it does, and that is fine, but by in large it offers the same things in a slightly different format than other places ITP.

Anonymous said...

Wow. They weren't even there long enough to experience a smash and grab.

Anonymous said...

Jesus. One store closes and all of sudden Atlantic Station is a failure? I'm not surprised Yard House is having issues. It's a great spot (great beer menu) but the space is ENORMOUS. I'm sure the rent on that space is super high.

How quickly people forget that this was once a massive eyesore of abandoned mills and trainyards before. By all accounts, it's been a huge success and added more density to the city. It took a hit during the recession but office space and residential space continues to grow.

Shakey Knees is going to be there this year. That's a huge get for them.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

this was once a massive eyesore of abandoned mills and trainyards before.

It's called light industry. An economy can't sell baubles to each other on credit forever.

Dan said...

This blog has issues with Atlantic Station...I don't think that is any secret.

I guess what would make it easier as a regular reader would be if you could reveal more where the initial gripe stems from?

If not thats completely cool but its hard to digest any AS story on here as its always so one sided.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Buckhead Atlanta and Ponce City Market are going to shake up the retail market in Atlanta. Both plan on bringing in almost all stores that are not currently in Atlanta. Buckhead Atlanta will have underground parking. Local retailers better get their ___ together before both of these projects open in spring of 2015