Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Michael Kors Opening Additional Atlanta Boutique

Michael Kors is making odd move in Buckhead.  Already with a successful boutique in Lenox Sqaure, Kors is said to be opening a second (Buckhead) location in Phipps Plaza in the recently vacated Theory space on the first level.  Instead of the typical Kors boutique, this location is planned to feature more
couture items from the Michael Kors collection, including runway pieces.  

Personally, I think this seems like an odd move considering the upcoming opening of Legoland, and the thought that the mall will attract more family oriented retailers rather than such couture labels.  Perhaps he missed the memo?  Bottega Veneta is already struggling, although its better known sister brand Gucci continues to do well.  Even Intermix is said to be not doing so well. Saks, Jeffrey and Nordstrom seem to be the bright spots for the mall.

Michael Kors opened his first Atlanta boutique in 2008 at Lenox Square, taking space that was vacated by Bally when they made the move to Phipps Plaza.  Kors added a second location in 2010 at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  Each store carries predominantly accessories and handbags but also some clothing for women.

In advance of the upcoming Legoland opening in March, Willams-Sonoma, Brookstone and Talbots WOMAN, the chain's plus size division, will all close in the coming days.  As I mentioned earlier this month, Sur la Table will open in place of Williams-Sonoma, but there is no word on what may occupy either the Talbot's or Brookstone spaces.  Additionally, I've heard there may be at least two other closures on the second floor in the coming weeks.  Of course these closings are in addition to my DeathWatch predictions of Valentino, Vince, Versace and Barney's New York CoOp.

No timetable has been set for the opening but I'd guess it will open sometime in early summer.  

What do you think about all the changes going on at Phipps Plaza?  Will the kids and families that Legoland attracts alienate existing luxury shoppers?  Is Michael Kors ahead of the curve with this opening or is he living in a fantasy world?

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Scotty said...

Very interesting. Normally I would say that this boutique with runway pieces would fit right in at Phipps, but with all the changes they're making (LEGOland) I'm just not sure it's a good move. Who knows though? The people of Buckhead may surprise me. It is strange though that Kors doesn't just try to expand the Lenox store, since it is doing fairly well. Why open up another store right across the street? But perhaps Michael Kors is anticipating a great backlash to LEGOland. And on the flip side, perhaps having a new luxe store coming to Phipps will be enticement for others to stay. Probably not, but who knows.

As for what's going to happen to Phipps shoppers, I think one of two things will happen. Either all the luxe stores will pack up,leave, and take their luxe shoppers with them because of LEGOland, or (what I would really like to see happen) the luxe stores will stay put and keep attracting the luxe shoppers and LEGOland will be a bust. Frankly, what draw is there to that mall for families besides LEGOland? No real kids / family stores, no good food court, just LEGOland and a lackluster theater.

Anonymous said...

How do you know Williams-Sonoma, Brookstone, and Talbots are closing "in advance of Legoland"... what kind of comment is that?? Those stores aren't even "high end"... why make things up?? If that was so, why is Sur La Table, a store similar to Williams-Sonoma, opening in its place??? Maybe this has more to do with that face that some of these stores are already at Lenox across the street...

Second, Intermix is not doing bad, but is it not doing great either. They are meeting sales goals but yes, they could always do more business. It's not doing poor enough to warrant closing the store. I know because I know someone who works there.

Third. how exactly do you know Bottega Veneta is struggling???

Unless you have some sort of inside source, how exactly do you come to these conclusions???

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon 2,

First off thank you for reading the blog and for the comments.

Brookstone, Williams-Sonoma and Talbots are all closing "ahead of the Legoland opening" and this may not necessarily be a result of the Legoland opening. My wording on this may wrongly make that connection. As you're aware, both Williams-Sonoma and Brookstone have locations in Lenox and this may be simply a consolidation of stores, ironically closing leading up to the Legoland opening. Talbots is supposedly moving their "WOMAN"business to their Peachtree Battle location.

Intermix is not doing well, I know that. My intention was not to suggest they are doing so badly that a closure was imminent, just possible.

I know for a fact that Bottega is not doing as well as corporate had hoped and that it will surely not get easier to build a client base once the Legoland opens. I don't think they would have been better off in Buckhead Atlanta, but perhaps should have waited for space to open up in the wing at Lenox.

I do have inside sources in a variety of businesses around Atlanta and often they will share information with me knowing they do so on the condition of anonymity.

Thanks again for reading the blog and for the feedback.

Anonymous said...

I would bet the Michael Kors store at Phipps, in the former Theory space, is the result of some "deal" he got from Simon
Its probably a short term lease, a year or two. and he will basically just move into the Theory space using their buildout and store fixtures.
Simon has probably leveraged some deal with him....if he takes space in Phipps temporarily to "keep the lights on" they will find him a space in one of their other "high end" malls that he desires to be in.
I think Phipps is on shaky ground...too much leasable space and not enough luxury to better tenants to fill the space. It will be very interesting to see how they continue to merchandise this property.
With the slowdown of Streets of Buckhead/Buckhead Atlanta Simon should have aggressively gone after some of the tenants signed at Street of Buckhead to remerchandise Phipps. Also the center needs a little face lift, all the dark wood and crystal chandeliers seem a little dated in my opinion

Anonymous said...

Not that it's anywhere near the top of Phipp's to-do list, but how about replacing that crappy sign at Wieuca and Peachtree with something better?

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