Friday, February 23, 2018

[EXCLUSIVE] Gucci to Get More Grand at Phipps Plaza as Time Runs Out For Hublot

Gucci will soon expand their presence at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.  The Gucci store, located on the mall's main level, will swell from about 5,200 square feet to about 8,200 square feet.  Gucci's expansion will consume the former Hublot space (which closed Thursday) and the current Michael Kors space (which is due to close Saturday.)  
The current Gucci store at Phipps Plaza
Hublot, the uber expensive Swiss watchmaker owned by  international luxury goods group LVMH (Mo√ęt Hennessy Louis Vuitton), opened at Phipps Plaza in late 2012.  The closure leaves the company with thirteen U.S. locations, five of which are in Florida.

Michael Kors will close their store at Phipps Plaza after business on Saturday, consolidating their Buckhead presence to their existing store at Lenox Square.  The store is not having any "closing sale," only participating in active company-wide sales.  All on-hand merchandise will simply be transferred to their Lenox Square store.   

Michael Kors decision to close and consolidate Buckhead operations is not the first time such a thing has happened.

Brookstone, Coach, Williams-Sonoma, Gap, and Chick-fil-A, among others, previously closed their Phipps Plaza locations in favor of remaining open at Lenox Square.  Armani Exchange and Abercrombie & Fitch moved from Phipps to Lenox, while Kate Spade and Bally moved from Lenox to Phipps. Tory Burch, on the other hand, added a Lenox location in addition to their Phipps store in 2015.  Sunglass Hut continues to operate a location in Phipps Plaza as well as three in Lenox Square. 

A few years ago, Gucci was in talks to open in the current Valentino, Henig Furs (previously Elie Tahari) and the Genuine Pizza (previously Yebo) spaces, but Gucci scaled back their expansion plans shortly after naming Alessandro Michele their Creative Director in January 2015. 

Gucci's upcoming expansion, expected to be completed in time for the holiday shopping season this fall, is reportedly not expected to bring any new product categories to the store, but will increase the breadth of offerings in existing collections.  
The current Michael Kors store at Phipps Plaza
The expansion will provide the luxury retailer with about 90 feet of frontage along the hallway with Genuine Pizza and the upcoming Daniel Reed's Public Kitchen & Bar and about 76 feet of frontage along the Nordstrom wing. 

Sources close to the retailer stopped short of referring to the expanded store as a "flagship," but it will be among the retailer's larger domestic stores.  

Paris based Kering, an international luxury group, owns Gucci and fellow Phipps Plaza retailer Bottega Veneta, as well as Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Brioni, among others.  Kering's confidence in Phipps is evident in their decision to expand and renovate the existing store, rather than relocate to The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, where other luxury brands have opened with mixed success.

Permits filed this month with the City of Atlanta indicate that Gucci plans to spend at least $1.1 million on the renovation & expansion of their Phipps Plaza boutique. 

Well-placed industry sources indicate that Hermes (previously at Lenox Square) and Christian Louboutin do well at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, while others, like Tom Ford (formerly Creative Director at Gucci) and Dior (owned by LVMH) have each rung up sales far below their respective company's expectations. 

Well-placed sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Gucci's sales this past January topped $1.5 million, making it among the most productive domestic stores for the upscale retailer.   

Are you excited about the expansion of Gucci at Phipps Plaza?  Does Hublot's decision to leave the Atlanta market surprise you?  What is your favorite shopping destination in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

Here we go again with the misplaced Buckhead Atl conjecture. Not only is the Tom Ford doing fine, they are considering expanding that location into an 850 sq ft space adjacent to their store that connects to the area next to valet.

I do find it odd that Atlanta does not have a Saint Laurent boutique.

Anonymous said...

Tyler said...

And no stand-alone Chanel boutique?

H. said...

Do you know where? I am very interested and excited to hear that. There aren't any vacant spaces adjecent to valet though. Amarino opened last October and there's an elevator and stairwell between Tom Ford and the remaining shops.

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