Friday, June 3, 2022

[EXCLUSIVE] Simon Secures Space for Hermes at Phipps Plaza

Several well-placed sources confirm to ToNeTo Atlanta that Hermes will move from Buckhead Village District (BVD) to Phipps Plaza in 2024.  The move, which would coincide with the conclusion of the retailer's ten year lease at the outdoor center, is no doubt a blow to the center and a shot in the arm for Phipps Plaza.  

Once locked into a bitter battle with then owner OliverMcMillan for luxury labels, Phipps Plaza owner Simon Property Group has seemingly won the war, with Hermes, and is just the latest in a string of current and planned relocations from BVD.  

For its part, BVD owner Jamestown is seemingly moving in a different direction with its tenant mix, adopting a more aspirational luxury direction highlighted by the recent announcement that rag & bone is joining the development where it will backfill a former Canali. 

Hermes, which for years held court in the Luxury Wing of Lenox Square, moved to what was expected to be a short-term space next to Fado Irish Pub on Buckhead Avenue in early 2009.  It was not until late 2014 that Hermes debuted its new store within what was then Buckhead Atlanta, later renamed Buckhead Village District in 2021 following the project's acquisition by Jamestown.  

For many, Hermes served as an anchor to the project and a reason to visit.  An Hermes closed at the Simon-owned SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2016 making the Buckhead boutique the only outpost in the southeast save for several stores in Florida.  

Despite economic headwinds and record gas prices, luxury spending is up 14% year to date according to Bank of America aggregated US credit and debit card data.  Overall US luxury spending was 47% higher in 2021 than in pre-Covid 2019, according to Bank of America data.

The current Hermes is about 4,100 square feet whereas the new store will be approximately 8,000 square feet, according to well-placed retail sources who spoke under the condition of anonymity given that the relocation is not yet public.  The new Hermes will reportedly be located on the first floor of the Belk Nobu wing.  Simon seems intent on reinventing the wing - once home to FYE, Sur La Table, Michael Stars and others - as a new luxury wing.  The wing is currently home to pop-up style place filler stores like Broadcast Hub and Henig Furs, neither of which will likely be part of the wing's next evolution.  

In addition to Hermes, retail sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Christian Louboutin, Akris, Moncler and Jimmy Choo, (which was previously in Phipps Plaza), among others, are in negotiations or have executed leases to leave Buckhead Village District for Phipps Plaza.  

ToNeTo Atlanta was first to report on Tom Ford's relocation from Buckhead Village District to Phipps Plaza in 2019.  We broke news May 28 that Dior plans to open a new boutique at Phipps Plaza that many industry insiders surmise will ultimately replace the designer's current outpost at Buckhead Village District.  

Are you surprised to see Hermes leave Buckhead Village District?  What are your thoughts on the changes at Buckhead Village District under Jamestown ownership? What other shops or restaurants would you like to see open in Buckhead?

Please share your thoughts below. 

7 comments:

Ham said...

Always missed them when they left Lenox, so this seems like a good move. I wish the redevelopment of the Buckhead Village could have been handle better and a way of maintaining the vibrant street life could have been found. Yes, I realize it got too big and things turned violent as they have in much of the city.

Anonymous said...

Things are equally if not more violent at Phipps Plaza than BV. My hope is for the entire city to calm down and businesses can flourish again throughout. I love Phipps and grew up going there and still frequent it - but you have to go thru metal detectors to get in and it’s swarming with police - a good idea considering the theft around the city / but still a bit sad. Love BV and the street life there / hope some other stores can find a home and people can shop after dining at faves like Le Bilboquet and ale Colonial. Those have become buckhead staples for sure.

Anonymous said...

How many people are buying $10,000 And up Herm├Ęs handbags? That’s a very, very small percentage of people that can afford those luxury goods.

Anonymous said...

There's a years long waiting list for Hermes BIRKIN and KELLY bags and, if you could find one for $10,000, I would advise you to snap it up, because starting prices are well above that and the legendary Himalayan Alligator could top out in the hundreds of thousands.

Anonymous said...

I worked at Hermes in Las Vegas, most people would buy something and then return it (we had a 14 day return policy) because they got buyers remorse. Hermes also gets TONS of people with the $3,000-$4,000 cashmere sweaters that shrink after one use (and after they get dry cleaned), that’s why they don’t want to take anything back. There is a sucker born every minute. Especially those people spending $200,000 on a handbag.

Unknown said...

Just recently asked the Atlanta boutique how long it would take to get a Birkin bag...2-3 year waiting list.

Anonymous said...

This is really a shame about BV. That area should be the home of Atlanta's new luxury boutiques. Who wants to go inside malls anymore, especially with the way Lenox has been taken over by urban Instagram wannabes. You cannot go into the Lenox/Phipps area now without feeling like you're in some sort of a tacky hip hop video. BV should have been a nice changeup from the malls, but apparently Simon is just too powerful. They probably say "relocate here or you lose your spot in Forum Shops @ Ceasars - your choice!"

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