Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tom Ford Files Permits Despite Lack of Confirmation by Buckhead Atlanta

Tom Ford files first permit(s) with City of Atlanta 

I first broke news of Tom Ford's planned opening in Buckhead Atlanta this past October.  The plan at that point was to open in Buckhead Atlanta, reportedly after first considering space in Phipps Plaza.  Buckhead Atlanta reps were quick to deny a deal was done, and while there was great interest at first, the story died soon after. Flash forward to March and Atlanta Magazine is saying "It's official: Tom Ford is coming to Buckhead Atlanta."  The story was prompted by Tom Ford logo signage being installed in a corner, Peachtree Road-facing space at Buckhead Atlanta, but still brought no "official" confirmation.  

In the months that have followed, no perceptible work has occurred at the space and the company has remained mum on its plans only confirming "we will open in Buckhead next year." 

A "Commercial Alteration" permit filed July 6th with the city of Atlanta and associated with 3393 Peachtree Road (Lenox Square) lists the owner as  "Buckhead Lenders, OMB" (OliverMcMillan). The permit describes the space as 620 square feet with an estimated cost of construction of $143,000.  

The permit describes the project as: 
"Tom Ford Women's Collection: Interior finishes and millwork. New non-load bearing partitions, floor covering, and new ceiling. MEP's to be secured separately."

Also on July 6th, a "Commercial Quality Control Review"  permit was filed with the city of Atlanta for  "Tom Ford-Ste A156" at 3035 Peachtree Road (Buckhead Atlanta).  The permit refers to the owner as  "STREETS OF BUCKHEAD DEV CO AT LLC THE."  Like the first permit, the space is described as 620 square feet with an estimated cost of construction of $143,000.  

This would seem to be just a typographical error on the part of someone at the City of Atlanta (hard to imagine, right?) but still an interesting development. 

I contacted a concierge at Buckhead Atlanta who said the Tom Ford store would be opening "next year," but they were as yet unaware of exactly when.  I also contacted someone at the Atlanta offices of Buckhead Atlanta who, when asked about the Tom Ford store at Buckhead Atlanta, claimed they could not comment as to its existence and / or a planned opening.

As I've mentioned before, Tom Ford positions itself as a premium luxury brand selling items at prices that could make the normal man's jaw drop.  Among the more pricey goods are  $600+ long sleeve button down shirts and $670 to nearly $1700 belts, as well as $1500+ pumps for women.

Can metro Atlanta support such a high-end store?  Given the sales struggles at the project thus far, is Tom Ford making the right decision in opening in Buckhead Atlanta over Phipps Plaza?  How many things have you bought at Buckhead Atlanta, exclusive of restaurants?  

Please share your thoughts below.   

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sales struggles? Do you have any actual data to back that up?

I'll refer back to my comment the other day at:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=579719431387122896&postID=545178328719591488&isPopup=true

YES - Atlanta can (and likely will) support a Tom Ford store.

No as to why they're being so mum on opening...that's a great question.

No offense to the blog owner, but this blog almost seems to want BA to fail.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

Thanks four your readership and comments.

Regarding my assertion of sales struggles at the project, no, I don't have sales figures to share but have spoken with a number of sales associates at a number of the retailers and MOST are in fact not meeting their sales figures. With the exception of retailers such as Hermes (formerly of Lenox Square), Jimmy Choo (formerly of Phipps Plaza) and Christian Louboutin, Buckhead Atlanta's many other "new to market" retailers are not seeing the sales they expected.

Lenox and Phipps are no doubt older properties but seemingly remain the most popular and attract the greatest numbers of people, and by that, the greatest numbers of desirable retailers. One thing that seems to be a constant complaint of both employees and shoppers at BA is that the parking situation is terrible. There is limited surface level street parking, impossible to navigate deck parking and valet. This might seem small, but if a shopper has a bad experience even before getting in a store, its likely they won't return. Luxury shoppers might have plenty of disposable income but many still prefer parking options other than those readily available at BA.

Make no mistake, I don't want Buckhead Atlanta to fail but I do see many ways in which they failed to set themselves up for success.

Again, I appreciate your comments, options and readership, they are all appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. Again, no offense intended to you or this publication, which I really enjoy.

I am fortunate to walk to my job at BA, but the parking just doesn't seem all that complicated to me. Agree that the valet is tight but the deck didn't seem all that bad when I parked there. I don't know - I guess to someone that is used to a massive surface lot, anything different can be daunting.

I hope your assessment is incorrect. You mentioned the store where I work is performing well and is far as we all know, it is. I hope the others are as well and I believe that they are. And I hope that BA, Phipps, and Lenox can all compliment each other and thrive like NorthPark, Galleria, and Highland Park do in Dallas.

Anonymous said...

At only 620 sf, it might be just a Tom Ford Accessories store (sunglasses, cufflinks, bags, ties, etc). Their fashion collection stores are larger, closer to 2000 sf.

Anonymous said...

Some of the stores are going to fail - I think the swimwear shop will be one of them. Who in the world is paying $200+ for swim trunks in Atlanta? In Miami or LA I can see that but their target market based on the designs is probably the typical southern dude that is buying much more affordable/reasonable swimwear from Chubbies down the street.

Ham said...

I also agree that there is indeed a market for higher end luxury goods in Atlanta. Now, whether there is “enough” of a market remains to be seen. I also believe the person purchasing a bag from Hermes will have no problem navigating any real or perceived parking issues at Bulkhead Atlanta. However, the location could reduce the number of shoppers who might pick up a fragrance or less expensive accessory that they can easily get at Neiman’s.

Anonymous said...

I've visited BA on multiple occasions and don't understand the challenge of parking there. They have signs every where and a red light green light system of what spaces are available to park in. I can see if you are used to surface parking and used to seeing where your destination is rather than a large underground parking garage and trying to get your bearings. They do have signs down there, but I think a larger signage and a directory could help.

I hope BA does well as it is a great addition to the ever growing city of Atlanta. I feel BA needs to raise more awareness to the community, shoppers, and tourist to let them know what is open and any happenings in the development. People still think it is not open or still call it the Streets of Buckhead. Crossing fingers.

Anonymous said...

I will always call it Streets of Buckhead because it is borderline idiotic to tell people I'm going to Buckhead Atlanta WHEN I LIVE IN BUCKHEAD. It is the worst name.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but weren't you for years expecting the likes of Versace, Valentino, and Vince to close? Several years later, they are still open and Versace even expanded. No disrespect, but I do question who your "sources" are.

AJ said...

@Anon @ 7/16 10:04AM - So calling it "Streets of Buckhead" WHEN YOU LIVE IN BUCKHEAD is less borderline idiotic?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is.

Ok - I live in Buckhead. I say to friends who are also in Buckhead, "do you want to go to Buckhead Atlanta for dinner?" Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

Streets of Buckhead is perfectly fine. It was a good name. The Buckhead Atlanta name is terrible. Does Miami have a shopping center called Brickell Miami? Or Los Angeles have Beverly Hills Los Angeles? I'm not sure they could've named it something worse.

Anonymous said...

BOTH names are moronic. I really don't know if it should be called anything. It's not a great shopping district--there's really not enough retail to make it a great destination. Fatal flaw--no anchor store. Even Palm Beach has a small Saks store. This would have been a good place for a Lord & Taylor re-entry to Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta, or more precisely - Atlanta developers, think that these small, four block developments are something to be celebrated. They are not. They should take notes from Miami's South Beach Lincoln Road. I can spend half a day on Lincoln Road but maybe an hour or two at Atlantic Station or BA if I'm seeing a movie or dining.

AJ said...

I'm not saying "Buckhead Atlanta" is a great name, but if I said that I'm going to the "Streets of Buckhead", it sounds like I'm either a high end homeless person or a high end hooker...

I don't think either are good names. However, it's never concerned me. If the people are familiar with it, they'll know what I'm talking about. If they aren't familiar with it, I can just as easily say, "I'm getting dinner in this new area in Buckhead called "Buckhead Atlanta". Odd name, I know." And there you have a conversation starter about the name. Kill 2 birds with one stone.

Anonymous said...

Solution to the confliction on what to call BA and assessing its title thus far. I simply say, "Hey, why don't we go over to Buckhead Avenue?". Maybe the creators of this new retail district had this idea in mind and someone on their creative team "cleverly" named it Buckhead Atlanta.

I am doing a marketing research project on the new Tom Ford store in BA, does anyone know how successful the store has been thus far?