CARTIER REOPENS IN DALLAS
Byline: Holly Haber
DALLAS — Cartier Inc. is back in Big D with an 1,800-square-foot store that is expected to become one of the chain’s top 10 units within a year.
The store opened Sept. 22 at the Galleria, marking Cartier’s return to this market after closing a 700-square-foot store in the same mall in 1992.
“We always had the intention of having a really important store in Dallas, and it was always a question of having the right location and space,” explained Simon Critchell, president and chief executive officer of Cartier Inc. “We think Dallas will be very successful for us.”
Cartier Inc., the U.S. and Canadian arm of the Paris-based jewelry firm, operates 21 stores in the U.S. and three in Canada.
Critchell attributed the demise of the first store here to its small size, configuration and location.
While Critchell would not specify sales figures for either store, he noted the former store here “wasn’t doing well.”
“It didn’t represent Cartier as it should. It was too crowded. It was like a shoe box on its side,” he said.
The new boutique is on the first level of the mall, next to Macy’s, overlooking the ice rink at the center of the Galleria. It faces the Westin Hotel and is immediately visible to anyone entering the mall from the hotel.
That tourist traffic was an important factor in Cartier’s decision to reopen in the same mall. The Galleria draws 4 million tourists a year, making it the top tourist destination here. Guests from the Westin Hotel often stroll into the mall, and several area hotels run shuttle buses to it.
“With an international luxury brand such as we are, if there is a shopping center to which visitors go, it’s important to be there,” Critchell noted. “Last week there was a big medical convention in Dallas, and a lot of people visited the store from the convention. This is important.”
Styled with dark olive and cherry woodwork and brightly lit recessed vitrines, the new store carries a representation of the entire Cartier collection of jewelry, watches, leather goods, scarves, fragrances, crystal, pens and stationery.
The store had a soft opening without fanfare or advertising, and Critchell said he was “very comfortable” with business during its first few weeks.
“Initially, we get a lot of people who bring in their watches for service. We’re selling a lot of smaller items — belts and rolling rings, key rings, pens — smaller accessories that people feel happy buying on the spur of the moment. Some good business in watches and jewelry is starting.”
A cocktail party scheduled Nov. 4 will introduce the store to members of the Crystal Charity Ball, a children’s charity widely supported by the city’s wealthiest residents.
The company will make a $25,000 donation to Crystal Charity and is providing a $26,600 yellow gold and pave diamond watch to be raffled off at the annual ball in December.