Friday, March 20, 2015

Retail Not The Right Fit For Spanx?

Typical Spanx store layout 
Shapewear manufacturer trims its retail plans

Atlanta-based Spanx has decided to eliminate new retail store openings including the flagship store planned for Buckhead Atlanta.  The new Spanx flagship would have been located at street level, below the new Spanx headquarters, within the project. Spanx headquarters is currently in the Sovereign building (3344 Peachtree Road), but will relocate to three floors and at least 86,000 square feet at Buckhead Atlanta this May.

Strangely, while this change was reportedly quietly made months ago, the Buckhead Atlanta website still has a page dedicated to the Spanx flagship.  

The first Spanx boutique opened ahead of the 2012 holiday season in the upscale Tyson's Corner Center in Virginia.  
Currently, Spanx operates ten branded boutiques in high end malls around the country.  The company also has three airport boutiques including one at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  There has been no official announcement regarding the fate of the existing stores, but I'd wager a guess that only the airport stores will remain open in the long run, if any do.  

As great a product as Spanx is, I feel it's better suited for sale in department and speciality stores, versus company-run retail stores.  Spanx is not now, nor do I ever see it becoming a "lifestyle brand" deserving of an extensive retail network.  

Spanx was started by entrepreneur Sara Blakely in 2000 and is today a billion dollar company.  The namesake shapewear line,  Spanx, is available at retailers such as Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus.  Assets was launched as a more economical option and is available at stores such as Target and Kohl's.  Spanx also launched a men's line in 2010 (that should be called "SPX") that features boxers and shirts.  

Former Nike head of apparel Jan Singer was appointed CEO of Spanx last year, replacing Laurie Ann Goldman, who had stepped down a few months earlier.  


Anonymous said...

I thought it was very strange for Spanx to open a flagship store in such a pricey development. The reason lots of folks want to shop at a store like Hermes is to see and be seen, carry around the bag, then get to show off the clothes. Women who wear Spanx are unlikely to want to show it off; wearing it discreetly is the entire point. This was a good decision the company's part, and I agree that they're a better overall fit (heh) being sold inside existing retailers.

Anonymous said...

creating brand exclusivity does not start in airports. Curious decision....

the real issue is availability. Spanx can be bought almost everywhere, from Target to Neiman Marcus, and dozens of boutiques and specialty stores in between.

what makes a customer go out of their way to visit the Spanx shop when they can buy it at a 100 more convenient places?

Anonymous said...

In 10 years Buckhead Atlanta will have a Johnny Rockets and an Old Navy.

Rob B said...

From a retail store perspective - Buckhead Atlanta is going to be a flop. Long term it is going to revert back to restaurants and night clubs.

Anonymous said...

Just because you all are broke doesn't mean everyone in Buckhead, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, John's Creek is broke.

Anonymous said...

the decision not to open this expansion might have something to do with the reality of their economic state...they spent most of the beginning of 2014 firing people by the dozen. also, see the latest new york times article about their branding: