Friday, May 24, 2019

[CLOSURE ALERT] Topshop to Close at Lenox Square, Could H&M Replace it?

British retailer Topshop announced plans Thursday to close  23 stores, including all eleven of their outposts in the United States.  The closures would include the company's lone Atlanta store at Lenox Square in Buckhead, which opened in early 2015.  The nearly 16,000 square foot, two level store occupies space on both the main mall level and plaza level.  

The closures are an effort by the retailer's parent company, Arcadia Group, to stave off  "a breakup."  

Topshop/Topman entered the U.S. market to heavy fanfare in 2009 with a store in New York's trendy SoHo neighborhood.  In the years since, the fast fashion retailer added additional U.S. outposts at other high profile malls and districts including Fifth Avenue in New York, Aventura Mall in Miami, Lenox Square in Atlanta, The Galleria in Houston, Americana at Brand in Glendale, The Grove in Los Angeles and Fashion Valley in San Diego, California, North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Fashion Show in Las Vegas and Springfield Town Center, not far from Washington D.C. 

Arcadia Group’s CEO, Ian Grabiner, referred to the closures as “tough but necessary,” to save the business, according to a report by BBC.

Topshop has faced several challenges in recent months. In late 2018, BeyoncĂ© acquired full ownership of her athleisure line, Ivy Park, from Topshop, after news broke of the alleged sexual harassment case against Philip Green, chairman of the Arcadia Group.  The retailer is also facing growing competition in the "fast fashion" space from both brick & mortar retailers like Zara and Mango, and digitally native retailers like UK-based ASOS.  

ASOS, which launched in the UK in 2000, is now a $3 billion+ business.  In 2018 the company opened a new $40 million distribution center in south Fulton County to help fuel a continued U.S. expansion.  

No timeline has been announced for the closures of the U.S. Topshop locations, but the company did confirm it plans to continue to offer its products via wholesale accounts such as its current partnership with Nordstrom.  

At Lenox Square, five separate spaces were combined to create the two-level Topshop store.  A pair of escalators were also installed in the store.  Given its size and existing infrastructure lending itself to a single replacement tenant, one has to wonder if a store like H&M, another fast fashion retailer, could be interested.  The retailer operates a number of stores in metro Atlanta including outposts at Atlantic Station, Cumberland Mall, Perimeter Mall, North Point Mall and Mall of Georgia, but has no presence in the Buckhead market.  

H&M announced plans in February to close 160 stores, but also open 335 stores nationwide in 2019.

Despite the upcoming closure of Topshop/Topman, Lenox Square has a number of openings and expansions for shoppers to look forward to in the coming days, months and years.  

Later this month, Adidas is expected to open its new store on the mall level near Nike.  The new store, which will be slightly larger than the upper level store it's replacing, will carry assorted products from the brand's men's and women's collection of footwear, clothing and accessories.  

Late this fall, existing Lenox Square retailer Zara is expected to debut its new store in the Luxury Wing of the mall's upper level.  The new store, which measures about 30,000 square feet, is about three times as big as the current Zara, which is essentially being augmented.  The new store is expected to carry a wider variety of men's and women's clothing and accessories, as well as clothing and accessories for children and babies, in addition to the brand's home collection.  

Also later this fall, likely in time for the holiday shopping season, Dutch retailer Scotch & Soda plans to open its first ever Atlanta area store at Lenox Square.  The 1,500 square foot store will open on the main mall level, not far from Topshop.  

Lenox Square will also later this year welcome Atlanta's first location of Capital One CafĂ©.  The Cafe is currently under construction in the former Panera near the front of the mall, close to the upcoming Adidas.  ToNeTo Atlanta was first to report the banking institution's entrance into Atlanta this past February, and the company within the past few weeks filed for their first permits.   

Sometime in 2020, Apple, which currently operates a roughly 8,200 square foot store on the mall's upper level, will debut a glassy new two level store at the front of the mall  along Peachtree Road.  The store, which is expected to be over 20,000 square feet, is expected to cost nearly $8 million to construct, according to permits recently filed with the City of Atlanta.  

ToNeTo Atlanta reported last week that plans have been revived to redevelop an under-used parcel to the rear of the mall near Bloomingdale's.  A new 16 story, 221 key Hyatt Centric hotel is being proposed, where previously Lenox Square owner Simon had expressed interest in developing a pair of residential high rises.  The hotel is still in the planning phases but if all goes well, it could open within the next two years or so.  

Are you surprised that Topshop is exiting the U.S. market?  What is your favorite fast fashion retailer?  What would you like to see open in place of Topshop at Lenox Square?

Please share your thoughts below   


Anonymous said...

Wish we had a Uniqlo.

Anonymous said...

The Topshop in Lenox was far too geared toward the urban demo solely. The location in Chicago had a much better variety of fashion, and I was looking forward to the store in Atlanta prior to its opening. But when it opened in Lenox, I was disappointed that it was primarily more street and less of their trendy dressy stuff. Despite what people that know nothing of the city think, Atlanta does have a wider demographic than just urban street/hip hop peeps.

Ham said...

Wish we had a Rich's...

Anonymous said...

Cheap fast fashion being replaced by even cheaper fast fashion. No thanks!

Anonymous said...

Damn! Another h&m! Ghetto replaced by more ghetto! Absolutely nothing special! I'd rather have a Kohl's! Better variety for the family.

dal787 said...

My thoughts exactly. This would be an even better fit than Shops at Buckhead.

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