Monday, July 15, 2013

After 25+ Years Together, Ross-Simons Separates from Phipps Plaza

Ross-Simons closed their lone Atlanta area location at Phipps Plaza yesterday.

Cranston, Rhode Island-based Ross-Simons closed their jewelry store on the second floor of Phipps Plaza this past Sunday, after what I'm told was 27 years in business there. When Ross-Simons opened, the anchor on its wing was Lord & Taylor  Today, it is the Nordstrom wing of the mall,   According to a reliable Phipps Plaza source, Ross-Simons wanted to remain in the mall, but sought to relocate to a smaller space but  rebuffed by mall owner, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group.  Ross-Simons back of house space was quite large, possibly even as large as their showroom space, given they used to carry more merchandise years ago.

Ross-Simons began a liquidation sale a few weeks ago, before which their adjoining Roberto Coin boutique closed, and I'm told that it was not part of the sale.  As of Saturday, discounts as deep at 80% off retail were available on remaining in stock merchandise.

Ross-Simons dates back to 1952, when the first shop opened in Providence, Rhode Island.  Today, there are retail stores up and down the east coast, as well as two outlets.  While apparently unrelated to the Phipps Plaza closure, Ross-Simons is in the midst of a significant brand overhaul.  Over the coming weeks and months, nine of the chain's stores will be rebranded as Sidney Thomas Jewelers (A Luxury Jewelry Experience).  According to a source, only four stores will maintain the Ross-Simons branding, including those in Cranston, as well as the two outlets in Potomac Mills (Maryland) and Wrentham, Massachusetts.

Currently, the Sidney Thomas website is just a "Coming Soon" splash page, but I'd expect more content to come online ahead of the store conversions.  I'm told Sidney Thomas will be "higher end" than Ross-Simons.

As for what will replace Ross-Simons second level space, I heard a rumor that a rim and tire shop would open.  While I hope this is not the case, it would not be a first for Phipps Plaza, as before Arhaus opened, XDC Motorsports, a tire and rim shop, opened in place of Uncle Tai's Asian eatery.

It's worth noting that adjacent to Ross-Simons is a shuttered Coldwater Creek store today operating as Phipps Plaza rugs, clearly a short term lease. With both spaces potentially up for grabs, who might Phipps Plaza have in mind?  Phipps Plaza is, of course, the same mall in which Simon leased space beneath the former Niketown to a skatepark and replaced its food court with a mini Legoland theme park.

Will you miss Ross-Simons from Phipps Plaza?  What would you like to see open in place of Ross- Simons / Roberto Coin and or Coldwater Creek?  Has your Phipps Plaza shopping decreased since the opening of Legoland Discovery Center?


Anonymous said...

I rarely go to Phipps since Legoland opened. I know they have a few fast food places but they really need a food court back. They also need a waiting area for the kids waiting to go into Legoland. A few times I've been there and the kids are all over the mall. Not a pleasant shopping experience. Also, it's interesting they put a Clare's jewelry store near Tiffany's.

Anonymous said...

Are they systematically trying to destroy Phipps Plaza? Not to mention, they spend millions constantly updating Lenox and they never spend a dime on Phipps. It is still elegant, but the guest services like restrooms are atrocious. Why is Simon ignoring this mall?

Anonymous said...

I stopped by a few weeks ago, and a sales women told me the same thing, they wanted to downsize and Simon wouldn't play ball. She said since they had done away with there bridal registry area, they had no reason to keep all of that space.

What is Phipps thinking? I know they think they can command high rents due to all of the new stores opening, but running off an exisisting tenet just seems stupid. Cross your fingers the "wheel and rim" store is a rumor, I remember the last one, and that's the last thing this mall needs.

Anonymous said...

Even in spite of Legoland, the lack of a food court and Claire's, Phipps still is successful at luring in luxury tenants, so I'm not too worried about this. I'm just assuming they are doing an aggressive strategy to maintains its bulk once Buckhead Atlanta opens.

Atlantan99 said...


What's crazy is that Simon did allow and make room for Cole Haan to reduce their space and relocate and eventually reopen farsmaller than they once were. Ross-Simons seems to have had a similar request but was denied.

Thanks to all for their readership and comments.

Anonymous said...

Who is interested in going to Phipps anymore with so much Crime in that area.?
Anytime there is a public park type of entertainment, It is well known who takes it over
.Remmember the "Sid and Marty Croft" in downtown Atlanta.How long did it last.... It was short lived,for the same reason..!!!

debalew said...

But the World of Sid and Marty Croft was SOOOO cool!

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