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.
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For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews