LOS ANGELES — Las Vegas is getting some retail firsts.

Nike Golf and Just Cavalli confirmed their first-ever units will bow at Mandalay Place, the soon-to-be unveiled shopping center set on a sky bridge connecting the Mandalay Bay and Luxor Resorts, and GF Ferré said it will open its second American unit there, as well.

The center, with about 100,000 square feet of retail in all, is set to open in mid-October.

Nike Golf has slated a 2,644-square-foot door with a full range of men’s and women’s apparel, including the Tiger Woods line for men and the Verdana collection for women. The eight-year-old Nike division, which posts $100 million in annual sales, picked Las Vegas for its debut because “it’s proven to be a winner at retail and because it is a year-round golf market,” said a spokesman for the sports giant. If the unit is successful, Nike Golf will consider a retail rollout, but no other units are in the works, he said.

Roberto Cavalli’s secondary line, Just Cavalli, is scheduled to open a 1,572-square-foot unit, the first of three freestanding stores on tap for the U.S., said Enrico Di Muccio, chief executive of IT Holdings USA, Cavalli’s parent. Two more boutiques will open, at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and in New York, by next spring, he said. There are four Just Cavalli units in Italy.

GF Ferré, Gianfranco Ferré’s secondary line launched in Milan last June, has slated a 1,557-square-foot door. The brand’s other U.S. store is in Bal Harbour, Fla. That was converted from Ferré Jeans three seasons ago, said Di Muccio. There are 12 GF Ferré units worldwide.

“Las Vegas is one of the best markets in the U.S.,” Di Muccio said. “After three or four days there, [people] lose their sense of money.”

As reported, Mandalay Place will be home to several teen retailers, too, including Urban Outfitters and Fornarina. Children’s and women’s store Oilily, Los Angeles lingerie designer Samantha Chang and women’s swimwear boutique Sauvage also have confirmed stores.John Zilliken, vice president and general manager of Mandalay Place, said he expects average sales in excess of $750 a square foot in the center’s first year. An estimated 20 million people stay at hotels within walking distance of the center, annually, he pointed out.

The sales estimate is well above the national mall average of $330 a square foot, and possibly even on the conservative side, according to a spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers. Given what other Las Vegas malls pull in each year — like Forum Shops at $1,300 — she believes Mandalay Place could do upwards of $850 a square foot. “Indications show that sales will grow positively into 2004, barring any huge shock,” she said.

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