Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Perimeter Getting Preppier With Sperry Top-Sider ; Phipps Lands Lilly Pulitzer

Sperry Top-Sider will soon open its first area location at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  Sperry Top-Sider has long been sold at department stores like Nordstrom and Macy's but recently began opening its own branded boutiques in malls and lifestyle centers around the country.   The new store will
open later this summer in a space near both Nordstrom and the current Bloomingdale's (soon to be Von Maur.)

The first Sperry Top-Sider branded retail boutiques opened in early 2010 in Florida with initial locations at International Plaza in Tampa Bay, The Florida Mall in Orlando and Town Center at Boca Raton.  Additional locations were later added in NorthPark Center in Dallas and Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.  The Sperry website does not list branded stores separately so its unclear how many are now open. 

Sperry is a subsidiary of Collective Brands, also the parent company of Payless ShoeSource, which last year relocated its Roswell Road and Hammond Drive location to the Dillard's wing of Perimeter Mall.  Perimeter Mall is also home to a Stride Rite store, another division of Collective Brands.  Collective Brands also owns Airwalk, Saucony and Keds.

Collective Brands announced last August that it would close 475 locations over three years, with 300 of those closures to take place last year.  One such closure was at the District at Howell Mill.  Its performance lifestyle brand, the umbrella group that houses Saucony, Keds, Stride Rite and Sperry Top-Sider, saw a nearly 10% increase in net sales, whereas domestic Payless sales were down 3 percent.  Payless did recently refresh their logo and stores, but it seems niche brands like Sperry and Keds are outperforming them when it comes to sales.   

Aside from the likes of Champs Sports and Foot Locker, Perimeter Mall is also home to a number of other footwear retailers.  Clark's, Skechers, Rockport, Stuart Weitzman and Lacoste all offer their respective footwear lines in branded boutiques within the mall.  

Next spring, Sperry will begin to further broaden its product line through licensing agreements with a number of companies.  In addition to its trademark Top-Sider line, Sperry will carry belts, bags, hosiery, eyewear, swimwear and cover-ups, headwear, scarves, gloves and shoe care, and other assorted items for both men and women.  For instance, Tandy Brands was one of the selected partners and signed a multi-year license agreement to produce shoulder bags, belts and small leather goods for Sperry.   A line of watches is also a possibility, and like the other line extensions would be sold in both Sperry branded stores and other retail outlets like Macy's.    

This foray into more than just footwear would seem to put the company in competition with brands such as Vineyard Vines and Lacoste, as they would all have some overlap now.  A very similar consumer shops at all three stores, and given the products brought to market by Sperry are the same quality as its shoe line, it may very well take market share from some of the competitors.  

Lilly Pulitzer, another popular line with a similar college demographic, will soon open its first Atlanta location, in a couple of months at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.  Lilly Pulitzer does have a men's line, but it has reduced the number of men's pieces numerous times over the years and now only produces only a few.  

The openings of both Sperry at Perimeter, and Lilly Pulitzer at Phipps, are evidence of each brand's growing demand and also retailers' confidence in metro Atlanta's retail market.  

What are your thoughts on the opening of Sperry Top-Sider in Perimeter Mall?  Do you like the idea of there being a wide variety of Sperry branded products, or should they stick to what they do best? What store does Perimeter need?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

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Anonymous said...

Ewwww to both of those. Typical ugly southern crap...

Anonymous said...

I shop Lacoste.....have since I was 7 years old... Vinyard Vines is gross..... almost as bad as Tommy Hilfiger. Sperrys I would wear some of their shoes... but other items... ummmmm dont think so.... I dont get the overlap in any sorta way......

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