By  on April 18, 2008

ATLANTA — Michael Kors, Bulgari and Valentino plan to open their first stores here this summer and fall.

Michael Kors and Bulgari will be located at Lenox Square, and Valentino will be across the street at Phipps Plaza. Both centers are owned by Simon Properties Group and are in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood, 10 miles north of downtown.

The 3,000-square-foot Michael Kors Lifestyle store, the 19th in the U.S., will launch by September.

“Atlanta is a dynamic and vibrant retail environment,” said John Idol, chief executive officer of Michael Kors USA Inc., who said the location is among 16 Lifestyle store openings this year.

The Michael Kors Lifestyle unit offers shoes, handbags and accessories and a small selection of ready-to-wear pieces. Only four Michael Kors Collection stores, two in New York, as well as those in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Beverly Hills, offer the full apparel collection.

The 2,100-square-foot Bulgari boutique is to open in Lenox Square in August, offering fine jewelry and accessories. Bulgari executives were unavailable for comment.

The 2,100-square-foot Valentino unit, the ninth in the U.S., will offer women’s apparel and accessories and is to launch in September. Valentino will open another Southern store in the Galleria Mall in Houston later in the fall.

Tisha Maley, assistant vice president of leasing for Simon Properties Group, said luxury tenants, especially European brands, are in growth modes, despite a challenging economic environment.

“I’ve seen no holding back or concerns about business from luxury retailers,” she said. “They are focused on long-term market strategies and, with the dollar low, they see now as a good time to grow.”

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