Thursday, January 20, 2011

United Colors of Benetton Looking "Blue" as it Consolidates Operations

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?

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Jenna Shulman said...

These are all very interesting observations, Eli. Thanks!

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Jenna!

Here I was thinking I was up late! Thanks for the comment.

Hope you are well.

gator32301 said...

I wouldn't call some of your examples as overlap. I imagine most customers visit Teavana, Gateway, and all the restaurants you mentioned because they're at the mall for other reasons.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Gator32301,

You're probably right. Just amazing they have such similar lineups.

randy732 said...

Sad that Benetton is going to be Crocs at Lenox. The space could've been so many better things. Waste.

Anonymous said...

I saw that Kenneth Cole is closing several locations including Southpark in Charlotte and the Rockefeller Center flagship. Any word if the Lenox store is on the chopping block?

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

According to both the store itself and the mall's PR agency, the Lenox store will not be closing anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Benetton at Phipps closed after the 2012 Xmas season. The shelves were barer than usual last time I was there and thought they were waiting for the spring collection to arrive (merchandise was often late arriving). Little did I know that there would be no spring collection this year ... Benetton never really belonged at Phipps and after they moved the men's selection was reduced. I was told by an employee it moved from Lenox because the rent is less pricey. That surprised me.

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