Northern California's Bay Area is getting another shot of luxury, courtesy of Neiman Marcus.
Neiman's will open a 110,000-square-foot, full-line store in the East Bay town of Walnut Creek in late 2010 or early 2011. The store will be built in the Broadway Plaza mall, joining anchors Nordstrom and Macy's in the 697,000-square-foot downtown outdoor lifestyle center.
The only Neiman Marcus in the area is the 250,000-square-foot freestanding store in San Francisco's Union Square.
"Walnut Creek has always been very high on our list because its demographic is very compatible with our customer and this location has a high visibility in the market," said Wayne Hussey, senior vice president of properties for Neiman Marcus. "The East Bay and San Francisco are two totally different markets and we felt there was a void there."
The addition of Neiman's will only slightly increase the mall's total square footage because some existing buildings will be taken down when leases end and the mall refines its retail mix.
"Neiman Marcus takes Broadway Plaza to the next level, and global luxury retailers will be much more interested in the area once it comes in," said Randy Brant, executive vice president of Macerich, which co-owns the mall with Northwestern Mutual Life.
San Francisco's East Bay area, considered a less-moneyed suburb than those on the other side of Bay Bridge (such as Marin County), has a substantial demographic of luxury customers, many of whom find more value in the housing market.
Broadway Plaza houses 78 retailers and restaurants, including Swarovski and Coach, but the majority of tenants are midtier, such as Gap, Bebe, Lacoste, Cole Haan and J. Crew. Macerich has reported that the center's occupancy rate is 97.8 percent, with average sales of $768 a square foot.
"The arrival of Neiman's elevates the mall, signals high-end luxury and signals that the marketplace has the demographic to support it," said retail consultant Dana Telsey. "They select stores carefully and these deals are made for the long term."
Neiman Marcus has 39 full-line stores. Along with Walnut Creek, six more are opening between fall 2008 and 2011, including a 120,000-square-foot store in the San Fernando Valley's Topanga Plaza in September and the northwest Seattle suburb of Bellevue in 2009, as well as Sarasota, Fla., and Princeton, N.J., in 2010.
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
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion