LOS ANGELES — Fred Segal, an iconic retailer synonymous with hip celebrity style, plans a 100,000-square-foot store at the $2 billion W hotel being built in Las Vegas.
The unit, which is to bow in late 2009, would be Segal’s first outside the Los Angeles area as well as the retailer’s first non-freestanding store. The existing Fred Segal stores on Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue and in Santa Monica, Calif., are 28,000 square feet and 58,000 square feet, respectively.
The venture will be a partnership among the retailer, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Las Vegas development company Edge Group. Segal said his decision to finally expand hinged on the people involved in the project, specifically Reagan Silber, co-chairman of Edge Group.
“It was Reagan Silber and the people he has put together on his team,’’ said Segal, who heads the creative side of the business, having passed day-to-day operating duties to his son, Michael. “They’re brilliant, all of them, and they have heart….I’m 72 years old now, and a lot of people think, ‘He’s crazy.’ But they get me.”
Las Vegas is augmenting its entertainment with an expanding retail portfolio. Bolstered by millions of tourists and an income-tax-free business environment in Nevada, billions of dollars worth of projects — from a new Barneys New York to the $4 billion Union Park development featuring 420,000 square feet of retail space — are planned or under way.
“Las Vegas will become a major shopping spot in the world within the next 10 years,” Segal said. “Right now, there are local people that are not energized to shop there. I have the insight and energy to bring those local people to our development.”
The match makes sense because “the W brand is much more similar to a fashion company than a traditional hospitality company,’’ said Ross Klein, president of W Hotels. “We’ve always admired and emulated this intangible element of style that’s in everything that is presented at Fred Segal. And that’s very much how we try to merchandise and style W and its properties. The magical moment is there for both of us.”
The Las Vegas store will encompass a clutch of in-store boutiques. At least one store-in-store will carry only Fred Segal’s private label. Segal said the inclusion of a Ron Herman shop, the specialty store founded by his nephew, is likely.
“There will be some people that are invited in that are not [currently] in Fred Segal stores, and they will have to go through the Fred Segal experience,’’ the founder said. “If we have a Ron Herman there, that will also be a [part of] Fred Segal…Three of four of my children have had retail stores in Fred Segal and probably they’ll have stores in Las Vegas — bigger and better than ever.”
The 40-plus-story hotel will be on 25 acres at Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane, just off the Strip, and will include a Bliss Spa, dining and nightclub venues and a casino.
“I thought the perfect retail partner to go with the ubercool W experience would have that Fred Segal vibe,’’ Silber said. “In my mind, it wasn’t just the right retail mix. It was the right idea.”