British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood will be closing his U.S. retail operations.
The designer, who closed his Meatpacking District store in January will also be closing his Las Vegas outpost, said the two events are unrelated.
The Meatpacking store closing was mainly a result of poor performance and traffic to the store. Said the designer at his resort collection Wednesday: “It was really the only space we could afford when we opened.” The designer would like to revisit a New York location, but it would be at least a year down the line. He is considering SoHo and uptown, which he says has shown to be the best for sales results. He admits frankly, “We should have closed sooner.”
The Las Vegas shop, which sits in the Encore Esplanade of the Wynn Hotel, is closing due to an unrelated event. Hotelier Steve Wynn has decided he would like to move a ticket office there, according to Wynn representatives. Kirkwood said he would like to consider opening again in Vegas once the hotel opens its new tower, accommodating further retail spaces. He said the store was a top performer. “The Las Vegas store is amazing; it is like a whole new town of people every week.” The brand did not have an exact closing date as of reporting, but said it was most likely the end of July.
The closures coincide with the designer’s wholesale focus in the U.S. Kirkwood has been working with an outside consultant to grow the wholesale business. According to Kirkwood, the brand’s business is up 200 percent over last year by focusing on core styles, which reflect the house codes and that “delivering on time helps.”
Kirkwood is focusing on a revamp of his Mount Street in London. “When we opened it four years ago, we did it on a shoestring budget and it is looking a bit knackered now.” The store will get a fresh look in time for London Fashion Week in September, which will also include an update on the packaging. Kirkwood added that the e-commerce site, in partnership with Farfetch, will get a facelift, adding that the web site does better than the stand-alone stores.