ATLANTA — With a new Atlanta store and further expansion plans worldwide, Jimmy Choo is luring women into a setting intended to set the mood for luxury buying.
The 1,300-square-foot boutique opened last week in Phipps Plaza, a luxe mall in the city’s Buckhead district.
The store resembles a “Forties-inspired boudoir,” said president Tamara Mellon.
“So many stores now are masculine, cold and generic. We wanted to create an intimate, feminine experience, like walking into the ‘house of Jimmy Choo,’” Mellon said.
The Atlanta space is a model for all new stores and represents a design update that started three years ago. With velvet-quilted sofas, Ultrasuede chairs, satin-paneled walls, Lucite cabinets and a huge crystal chandelier, the store showcases shoes that range from $350 to $2,500 retail. Styles range from best-selling Moroccan-inspired flats in silver, gold, bronze and rose to dressy, jeweled sandals.
Handbags start at $600 retail and go up to $4,000 for crocodile and other skins.
Mellon sees no slowdown in women’s obsessions with fantasy accessories.
“When we started, shoes were so boring, but women have shown they wanted fun prints, creativity and color,” she said. “With fashion so casual now, shoes and accessories are a statement women need to spice things up.”
Nor does she worry that designer looks are showing up more rapidly in multiple retail channels, such as Target.
“They have a good design team and I’ve noticed that designer looks get down to the discount stores very fast today,” she said. “But the quality and materials don’t compare with luxury brands.”
With locations in London, New York, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and other big cities, expansion calls for more high-end hot spots in the U.S., including Chicago and San Francisco, as well as Europe, Japan and China, for a total of 50 stores in the next two years.
Mellon would not release sales figures, but said the Madison Avenue store in New York and Sloane Street in London rank as the best performers. She said the Atlanta store ranked on par with other U.S. locations.