Retailers might be sweating the recovery, but mall operators arefeeling pretty good, particularly when it comes to their luxe venueswhere shoppers are out and spending.
Simon Property Group Inc. —the nation’s largest mall operator with 201 regional malls and premiumoutlet centers — said last week that sales per square foot, occupancyand average rents were all on the rise. The smaller Taubman Centers Inc.had a similar take recently.
David Simon, chairman and chiefexecutive officer of Simon, said his company’s strongest headwind camefrom chains that have missed out on the recovery and will potentiallyclose stores. But shoppers overall are hanging tough.
“Theconsumer, actually, I feel a little bit better about,” Simon said on aconference call with analysts.
Over the 12 months ended June 30,sales per square foot in Simon’s U.S. portfolio rose 9.4 percent to$513, as rents per square foot gained 2.8 percent to $39.70 and theoccupancy rate rose to 93.5 percent from 93.1 percent.
This year,Simon plans to add 37 anchor or big-box stores under a variety ofnameplates, including Carson Pirie Scott, Kohl’s, Marshalls, Target andUlta. The firm also has deals to open Macy’s stores in the Chicago andMilwaukee markets and a Lord & Taylor in the Boston market in 2012and 2013. The real estate firm said Love Culture, Francesca’sCollections, Madewell, Lululemon and Michael Kors have all been growingaggressively.
Simon plans to invest $650 million globally todevelop new centers and update existing locations this year and thenramp up spending to $800 million next year.
But the rush ofdevelopment that fueled the fashion industry’s growth trajectory foryears is nowhere in sight.
“There’s been a list of 50 outletcenters that are in [the] predevelopment stage for several years,” Simonsaid. “We think obviously demand is good, but the manufacturers arevery sensitive to where outlets can be put. And so, we think the marketshould be circumspect to the amount of new outlet development that’sbeing talked about.”
For now, the action is in the high-endsegment, where shoppers undoubtedly have the power to spend.
“Luxury’sperformance is outstanding,” said Robert Taubman, chairman, presidentand ceo of the company that bears his name and operates 26 properties.“Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior were all top performers [in thesecond quarter]. Jewelry was our leading category, selling across allprice points.”
Taubman’s sales rose 14.1 percent for the secondquarter, hitting $600 a square foot for the 12 months ended June 30.Average rent per square foot rose 3.9 percent to $45.36 and group’soccupancy rate increased to 88.2 percent from 88 percent a year earlier.
“Idon’t see undue pressure in the retail community,” Taubman said. “Thereis a lot of conversation about cotton prices and labor prices in China.Will they be able to pass on to the consumer those costs and what doesit do to their margins? Luxury tenants are doing really well. They arepassing on price increases. The more discount value opportunity [is]doing great and in the middle, at least in our shopping centers, we aredoing just fine.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)