LAS VEGAS — Topshop has arrived on the West Coast.
Almost three years after the London-based retailer landed in the United States with a Manhattan flagship, Topshop today opens a 22,000-square-foot store at the Fashion Show Mall here, the smallest among its three American locations and the first inside a shopping center. The store will undoubtedly be the most heavily trafficked by tourists, giving Topshop an opportunity to raise brand awareness with international travelers and weekenders from Los Angeles, where the next Topshop is headed as early as this winter at The Grove.
“We are looking to have great flagship stores where we can show what we do,” Sir Philip Green, owner of the Arcadia Group, parent company of Topshop and its men’s sibling, Topman, said in an interview in the shoe section of the Las Vegas store. “Over the last 24 hours, I’ve seen two or three of the big retailers in this mall and shown them around. They think this is great. We will see. The customer will tell us always. I think the offer’s good. I think it shows us in our best light.”
Green explained he wanted to open a Topshop in Las Vegas because there’s a large, young and vibrant fashion audience in the glitzy vacation destination, although Sin City wasn’t necessarily where he expected Topshop to make its West Coast debut. “Our plan is centered around what real estate becomes available at what price, size. You can’t pick and choose exactly when sites become available, so this came first before L.A. We’re cool about that,” he said.
The Fashion Show Mall — where Topshop is located on the lower level surrounded by Starbucks, Fossil, Ed Hardy, Free People and St. Croix — was attractive to Green because of its convenience and appeal to locals, who constitute about 25 percent of its patrons, according to Susan Houck, senior vice president of marketing for General Growth Properties Inc., the mall’s owner. The mall’s anchors of Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s Home are a big reason for the local orientation.
Las Vegas retailing has begun to rebound from the recession, which ate into discretionary income that’s the city’s lifeblood. At GGP’s three properties on the Las Vegas Strip — The Shoppes at the Palazzo and The Grand Canal Shoppes in addition to the Fashion Show Mall — Houck noted business has been up double digits from last year. “Our numbers are coming back to 2008,” she said. At Fashion Show, she added, fast-fashion retail, represented by Mango, Zara and Forever 21 —which opened its largest store at the time two years ago in a 126,000-square-foot space at the shopping center — is a strong category.
The Fashion Show Mall is the second-highest-performing shopping center in GGP’s portfolio after the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. In an analyst conference call last December, the company’s chief executive officer, Sandeep Mathrani, said it generated annual sales per square foot of $1,002. If sales continue at that rate, the Topshop store would be on pace to register over $22 million in annual sales.
“When we took the space in the mall here, one of the key indicators was that all our competitors are here, so they are selling clothes here. We believe we are more fashion-forward than them,” said David Shepherd, Topman’s managing director.
Topman is situated side by side with Topshop in the one-story shop at the Fashion Show Mall, in contrast to its positioning on its own levels within the multistory New York and Chicago locations. Topman occupies about 25 percent of the retail real estate at the Las Vegas store and will likely account for about that much of the store’s sales if the flagship follows the typical Topshop business breakdown in which the percentage of sales from Topman closely hews to the space it is allotted.
Green believes Topman will be a hit in Las Vegas. Already, Shepard remarked, Topman has outfitted 40 Las Vegas club, hotel and restaurant employees in its suits, which are the men’s brand’s fastest-growing category, to expose them to local clientele who have received the slim silhouettes warmly. “It’s been our best business for the last 12 months,” said Green of Topman. He continued, “Our suiting has been excellent because it’s different. It’s got a point of view. It’s trendy. It’s cool.” Gordon Richardson, Topman’s design director, chimed in, “If you used to wear a suit, you looked like your father, but we have revolutionized it and have brought the suit back into [men’s] wardrobes.”
Evaluating Topshop’s U.S. store base, Green said the New York location has “been pretty consistent, steady. We need a location uptown, and we keep looking at various things. We just haven’t found the right thing at the right price. We want a store. In Chicago, we are still learning a little bit about the market; [it’s a] different market from New York. I think we probably feel we will be a lot stronger there in the spring once the weather [warms and it] gets more touristy.”
Ultimately, he said, Topshop hopes to have 15 to 20 flagships in the U.S., but he wouldn’t specify when the retailer will reach that number, stressing the timetable to get there would depend upon the right locations becoming available.
Asked about the differences between Topshop’s U.S. locations, Richardson described the New York store as fashion-forward, the Chicago unit as more straightforward and the Las Vegas one as the place for glamour. Certainly, the merchandise at the Topshop in Las Vegas is geared toward a customer who has come to the city to party, whether it is poolside or at a club. Many of the 50 or so exclusive Las Vegas pieces for women — there are about 40 for men — are going-out wear, including a $400 short, gold and multicolored beaded dress, a $180 harlequin sequin miniskirt and a $360 gold quilted motorcycle jacket.
Outside of the U.S., Green said Topshop has “started very well” in Canada, where it launched last year in shops-in-shop at The Bay. “We have performed better than we thought, and we are now in the final discussions of building the next two. We have a deal with The Bay, but they look stand-alone even though it is part of their business,” he said.
And even if the economy doesn’t pick up in Europe, Green expressed confidence that the Topshop concept works. “The economy’s tough everywhere. It’s about buy now, wear now, having things people want to buy. Nobody needs a white, basic T-shirt. There has got to be a reason for people to purchase. I think we’ve got to be better, quicker, faster, newer, fresher. We have got to inspire the customer,” he said.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye