LAS VEGAS — A long winning streak could be ending for retailers here, marking a new phase in the city’s evolution.
Reduced discretionary spending — the foundation of the entertainment, gambling and shopping mecca — is causing pain from the cash registers to the casinos with no quick end in sight.
“We’ve certainly revised our sales forecast for the coming year; we don’t want to overestimate anything now,” said Robert Chavez, chief executive officer of Hermès USA, which recently opened its second Las Vegas boutique in the Encore at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino.
The area’s retail vacancy and jobless rates have almost doubled in the last year, and gaming revenue, tourism and convention business are spiraling downward. In addition, Las Vegas has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for metro areas with a population of at least 200,000, according to RealtyTrac, which compiles the listings.
Unemployment rose to 10.1 percent in February, compared with 5.5 percent in the same year-ago period, and casino magnate Steve Wynn slashed employee salaries 10 percent to 15 percent.
Major projects such as CityCenter, a joint venture of MGM Mirage and Dubai World that includes hotels, gaming and condominiums, as well as retail, are being cut back or delayed.
MGM Mirage, the largest casino owner on the famed Strip, is trying to avoid default and other casino operators, including Harrah’s Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands, are struggling to meet debt obligations. General Growth Properties Inc., which owns and manages more than 200 U.S. malls, including Las Vegas’ Fashion Show, Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Shoppes at The Palazzo, said Monday it is continuing talks with lenders to restructure billions of dollars in debt. General Growth is seeking to sell the Las Vegas properties, but with real estate credit tight and spending weak unloading them may be a longshot.
Mall landlords are reexamining their tenant rosters to be recession-appropriate. The Forum Shops at Caesars, which has set the standard for high-end retailing in Las Vegas, is now more interested in signing a casual eatery than a fine-dining restaurant because of the strained economic climate, said Maureen Crampton, director of marketing.
“The shopper is more conservative today, definitely, and they have been for quite some time,” she said. “We have to be realistic. We can’t set our expectations so high. This is not 9/11. People after 9/11 came to get away. It didn’t hit their pocketbook.”
Welcome to the Las Vegas where cheap buffets, half-price hotel rooms, steep store discounts, budget-friendly shows and slots are among the main attractions, while luxury brands that have catered to high rollers play second banana.
In the last 15 years, Las Vegas morphed from its roots as a gambling oasis into a luxury destination with world-class shopping, spas, restaurants and other attractions. After more than a decade of riding high, the economic turmoil has stripped away some of the city’s extravagant allure.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@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