DALLAS — Some stores and restaurants at The Galleria and Memorial City Mall, the two biggest retail centers in Houston, reopened Sunday as the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area continued its recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Ike.
As of press time, eight deaths had been attributed to Ike, which swept onshore at Galveston, Tex., at 2:10 a.m. Saturday and pounded the Houston metropolitan area for hours before moving into east Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
The majority of businesses in the city remained closed due to widespread power outages affecting 2.9 million households and businesses in southeast Texas and as many as 5 million people. Houston businesses were ordered by city government to shut down Friday and Saturday because of the storm.
Estimates of insured property damage and lost business by risk assessment companies ranged from $8 billion to $18 billion, primarily in southeast Texas. That was far lower than had been anticipated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who speculated Friday that Ike could cost as much as $100 billion.
The massive storm also snuffed out the lights in 100,000 households in East Texas plus 153,000 in Arkansas and 69,000 in Louisiana, where an additional 22,300 have been without power since Hurricane Gustav hit Sept. 1. Those numbers were dropping Sunday as power was restored.
Dallas had braced for tropical-storm winds, but Ike shifted east and the city experienced little more than driving rain Saturday.
“I don’t know that people will have shopping on their minds, but with the enormous power outages, many people will be looking for a place of refuge from the heat and to find places to eat,” said Nicole Davis, Galleria marketing director, on Sunday.
The center, with 375 stores and restaurants plus a Westin Hotel, didn’t lose power or sustain damage during the storm, she said.
“There are some curfews in certain areas by the city of Houston so we are not making it mandatory for our tenants to be here and show up,” Davis noted at midday. “It’s getting pretty busy. Eleven of our restaurants and 26 stores are open — not any anchors but Ann Taylor, White House|Black Market, Gap, Banana Republic, those kinds of stores. The Galleria will close early at 6 p.m. [Sunday], Monday and Tuesday because of a dusk-to-dawn curfew by the city of Houston.”
The Galleria is the nation’s fourth-largest mall housing moderate to luxury tenants and anchors Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and two Macy’s. Neiman’s said it would not open Monday, and it was uncertain whether the other anchors would be able to. A Macy’s spokesman said he had no reports yet on the status of its stores.
About 75 percent of the 145 stores at Memorial City Mall were open Sunday, including anchors Target and Dillard’s, said Brian Colston, deputy director of security. Anchors J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears were expected to open Monday, he added.
The Texas Department of Transportation discouraged travel in affected areas.
“Houston Premium Outlets are not opening yet today,” said Ashley Pearce, the Houston spokeswoman for Simon Property Group. “Trees are down, stoplights are down — it’s a mess.”
At Wal-Mart, 137 stores were closed in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri primarily due to power outages, said spokeswoman Ashley Hardie. The company shut down 141 stores and facilities in anticipation of the storm, and some of those to the west and south of the storm had reopened by Sunday.
“We do have some stores in less impacted areas that are already up and running,” Hardie noted Sunday. “It is a fluid number as power comes in and out. We do have one store open in Houston and three are scheduled to open around noon in that area. It is too early to have a damage estimate, but it was better than expected. We don’t know of any that had severe damage.”
Shoppers are stocking up on water, ice, flashlights and cleaning goods as well as gloves, tarps and duct tape, she reported.
Tootsies in Highland Village Shopping Center near the Galleria lost an awning but had no other damage, said Penne Weidig, designer buyer.
“The bigger problem is that there are limbs and branches and trees down all over that area, which is making it difficult to get to the store,” she said. “We plan to reopen Monday if there is power.”
Calli Saitowitz, owner of two BB1 Classic women’s boutiques in Houston, said, “Our home is without electricity as are both of our stores, and we are trying to get down there to see what kind of damage the stores have. People have told me that awnings were ripped off of both stores. I’m also concerned about security.”
Rachel Clements, owner of La Mode Lingerie, an upscale boutique, also said her home and business were without power and an awning had been ripped from the store. “I’ve heard that 90 percent of Houston residents and businesses are without power,” she said. “My main concern is security.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews