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Chanel to Open Aspen Boutique in July

LOS ANGELES -- Chanel is preparing to hit the slopes.<BR><BR>The upscale retailer will open its first store in a ski resort this summer -- a small, two-story boutique in Aspen, Colo., that is expected to do over $1 million in its the first...

LOS ANGELES — Chanel is preparing to hit the slopes.

The upscale retailer will open its first store in a ski resort this summer — a small, two-story boutique in Aspen, Colo., that is expected to do over $1 million in its the first year.

Arie Kopelman, chairman and chief executive officer, said Monday the 1,500-square-foot store will be at 520 Durant Ave. — a high profile spot in the Aspen business district near the main lift that takes skiers up Aspen Mountain.

“There’s an excitement that’s been building in Aspen,” Kopelman said. “With the high turnover during the season, it will lend itself to a good business.”

While Chanel plans to open the Aspen shop in July, it will hold its grand opening during the Christmas holidays, the peak of the Aspen tourist season.

Several factors led to Chanel’s decision to open in Aspen, including the success upscale jewelers such as Bulgari have had there. Chanel will launch fine jewelry this fall in its U.S. boutiques.

The second floor of the Chanel building has large windows that offer panoramic views of Aspen and Aspen Mountain. Kopelman said the boutique will have a staircase and will resemble a smaller version of the new Chanel store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. That one is 12,400 square feet with 6,500 square feet of selling space and is projected to do $10 million annually.

Aspen will be Chanel’s 11th U.S. store, and Kopelman said it will be one of the last new stores for Chanel, which he said is winding down its retail growth in the U.S. He said Chanel would open up to two additional stores in the next few years, but would then call a halt to expansion. He declined to specify locations for the two stores.

Aspen will be Chanel’s smallest store and will be its first store in a ski resort.

“We’ve never done anything that was this small,” Kopelman said, pointing out that while the Aspen store will have a full line of items, some cherry-picking will be necessary because space for inventory won’t be as great as in other stores.