Thursday, August 16, 2012

Atlantic Station Loses Another Retailer, Guess Who?

Guess at Atlantic Station is closing.  One of the center's original tenants, it joins a long list of closings at the beleaguered lifestyle center in midtown.  The men's and women's apparel storewill close no later than August 27th, but likely by the 25th.

National retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters and restaurants like FOX Sports Grill and Bonehead's have also closed at the project.  Mark Toro previously claimed that "eighty percent of the retailers report sales are up by double digits."  Personally, I highly doubt this figure, but far be it for me to question Mr. Toro's facts.  Toro, after all, is the same man who denied to me that FOX Sports Grill and City Sports were closing, but then they did.

I used to go to Atlantic Station every few months, now I go only when forced to join friends and go to a movie or get dragged to IKEA.

I think Guess represents the exact demographic that Atlantic Station currently attracts and it's rather amazing, but also telling, that even they chose to close their store.  Sadly, the Dillard's and Publix stores have both been on life support for years, and there is no doubt in my mind that behind the scenes they are given incentives to keep their doors open.

Los Angeles-based Love Culture was in talks to take over the Z Gallerie space but that deal never happened.  The cheap chic retailer eventually opened at Perimeter Mall.

Sources tell me that a sporting goods retailer is taking over the Guess space.  Obviously City Sports would not be re-opening but that also begs the question, who would want to open given their failure?  Given the retaltively small size of the space, Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority are out of the question, which led me to believe that Birmingham-based Hibbett Sports may be the one interested.  A call to their corporate office was met with surprise and denial which leads me to believe it may be a different retailer.

Hibbett Sports was started in Birmingham in 1945 and today is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ : HIBB) with two locations in Athens near the University of Georgia.  The sporting goods retailer tends to be located in small to midlevel markets like Rome and Alpharetta, and a location in Atlantic Station would represent a shift in their thinking and would surely come with a higher rent.

For the record, neither DEKA nor Road Runner Sports are likely candidates either.

Who do you think will open in place of Guess?  Has your opinion changed of Atlantic Station in the past year or so?  Better or worse? Why?  What on word comes to mind when you think of Atlantic Station?  

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Anonymous said...

New sports retailer could be Academy Sports & Outdoor.

Anonymous said...

Guess has not been relevant since 1992. I'm not surprised that it would close one bit. I don't think the location is the problem either. It's the product.

Lee at said...

Might the new retailer be Orvis? NAP announced that Orvis is coming to Avalon, so the relationship has been made.

Then again, doesn't Orvis have a Buckhead location already?

Anonymous said...

haha I agree! Guess has been out since 1992...who even goes in there anymore?

kittenmasks said...


This store is taking over the world.

Anonymous said...

Funny how this news isn't part of the Atlantic Station sponsored blog, hmmmmmm. Won't be a Lululemon, they just opened a store at Westside Provision between West Egg and Yeah Burger.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Lee ,

Apparently the "sporting goods retailer" will be Athleta. Athleta as you know is the lululemon wannabe that has been opening up shops nearby to lulu and offering items that come in just under lulu. Basically a cheaper knock off of an original and popular brand. I don't think it fits their demo at all and think they should have stuck with Avalon or tried for Lenox or Perimeter.

Anonymous said...

Athleta is also a Gap brand. Which makes sense figuring they also have an Old Navy and Gap on site at AS.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are so bitter about Atlantic Station. Isn't H&M expanding? I think you said the store wasn't meeting their expectations. And since Athleta is a GAP brand, their other stores must be doing well at AS. Honestly, you need to get some objectivity when it comes to Atlantic Station.

Anonymous said...

As others have said, this is about a failed retailer, not a bad location. Shops close ALL THE TIME at Lenox but that certainly doesn't make the center "beleaguered" and neither is Atlantic Station.

BTW when are you going to report that Shaun Doty, one of the city's popular chef's is opening a resto at AS, something you swore would never, ever ever happen. Seriously, your anti Atlantic Station bias is beginning to seem a little nutty. You may want to see someone about that.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon RE Atlantic Station,

As I said, GUESS would seem to fit perfectly into the demographics that AS currently attracts. The movie theater is what draws people in and much of the traffic is college students. Are there closures in Lenox, sure... but most of the time its entire brands closing i.e. Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein White Label, Storehouse, PH8, Metropark etc. Over at Atlantic Station the closures have ranged from local chain restaurants like PJ's Coffee, Boneheads and Doc Greens to chain eateries like Dolce and Au Bon Pain. Successful retail chains like City Sports and American Eagle Outfitters that should do well in such a setting both closed. Atlantic Station is a poorly executed, generic looking mall in disguise... claiming to be a lifestyle center. I've been to The Grove in LA, I've shopped Fashion Valley in San Diego, Atlantic Station and its puppetmaster and pseudo-owner Mark Toro can swear up and down things are changing and that AS is in the same league as other lifestyle centers like those that I mentioned but it simply is not the case and never will be.

Mid-town Mark said...

I've lived in Atlantic Station going on 5 years. I don't know what's at the root of your personal vendetta against Mark Toro -- but without a doubt, while there is still a long way to go, the improvement in Atlantic Station in the time Mr. Toro has been in charge has been nothing short of phenomenal and well beyond what I had thought was possible in such a short time.

That Atlantic Station still has a long way to go is not a reflection of any failure on Mr. Toro's part, rather it's a reflection of how far Atlantic Station had fallen under the prior ownership.

It didn't take long after we had bought a home in Atlantic Station near 5 years ago for us to regret our decision. We were certainly not alone in having such regrets. But after witnessing the turn-around going on in the past year or so, we've become optimistic about the future of Atlantic Station and our regrets are hopefully becoming a thing of the past.

There is so much potential at Atlantic Station and that potential now seems to have a realistic chance of being realized. That was not the case in the time leading up to when Mark Toro and company entered the scene.

Sandy said...

"Wow, you are so bitter about Atlantic Station..."


"I don't know what's at the root of your personal vendetta against Mark Toro"

As a west side resident for the past 5+years I appreciated the convenience of Atlantic Station despite the loiterers, parking issues, etc. and gritted my teeth and bore it so to speak as the place slowly fell apart.

HOWEVER, my visit in June will be my last EVER. My usual quick stop to run in the Victoria Secret annual sale and check out Ann Taylor and Banana Republic had me being racially profiled by an Atlantic Station "Police officer" who followed me from the moment I passed H&M, all throughout the interior of Victoria Secret, and just to be sure I left the store empty handed (and because I was pissed off) followed me right into Banana Republic.

This was a week day evening, mind you, and I was dressed in business professional having come straight from work. There was NO reason for this "cop" to follow me, I felt incredibly harrassed, and my reaching out to Mark Toro online was completely ignored. This "uber involved" owner of NAPA is a coward behind his dying Giant and North American Properties is losing reputation points in the Southeast Market by the minute with their flubs.

I am saddened, sickened, and done with Atlantic Station. This brown field can sink back into the ground for all I care.

Amy said...

GAP is closing in Atlantic Station and that is where Athleta is going which goes to show how the brands are doing. Athleta is definitely a wannabe Lululemon with about the same prices yet not the same quality that Lululemon has in their clothing to demand those prices. I will not even get into the rest of the issues at AS.

Anonymous said...

He said what his issue was with Toro...he is able to have his opinion. If you don't like it then get off his blog!!! SMH... I like your blog by the way first time reading. Very nice and love the commentary keep up the great work!

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