HILFIGER SETS HIS SIGHTS ON RODEO DRIVE
Byline: Michael Marlow
LOS ANGELES — Tommy Hilfiger is taking aim at Rodeo Drive.
The designer is negotiating to open a 15,000-square-foot West Coast flagship on the prestigious 400 block of Rodeo. Sources said the site is 466 North Rodeo Dr., on the southeast corner of Rodeo and Santa Monica Boulevard.
The block also houses Giorgio Armani, Chanel and a large Polo/Ralph Lauren store, owned by Jerry Magnin, which rings up more than $15 million in sales each year.
Sources said Hilfiger would renovate the building this summer and possibly open in September or October.
Joel Horowitz, chief executive of Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc., said the company is “very interested in” a location on the street, but he would not be specific.
“We believe there are two locations in the U.S. where we need to have flagship stores for image and international exposure. That’s Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Madison Avenue in New York,” Horowitz said. “These attract as much international trade as domestic trade and would serve as our window to the world.”
Hilfiger operates eight retail stores, but these are smaller units in malls outside New York and Los Angeles.
Horowitz said Hilfiger needs between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet for each flagship. The two flagships would carry all Hilfiger products “in great depth,” Horowitz said, including men’s wear, boys’ apparel and — this fall — the new women’s collection.
The space on Rodeo Drive, currently occupied by Carroll & Co., is one of the few on the three blocks of the Rodeo retail district that meet Hilfiger’s requirements.
Horowitz said a search for space on Madison Avenue continues, but he said the Rodeo Drive store would probably open first. “We are not as progressed in New York as we are on Rodeo,” he said.
Gilbert Dembo, a prominent Beverly Hills retail broker involved in negotiations for the space, and Robert Anderson, owner of the property, declined to comment Thursday.
However, Anderson did confirm that Carroll & Co. had purchased a new building on Canon Drive two blocks east of Rodeo and would move out of its current space in August.
Calvin Klein looked at the Carroll & Co. space during a tour of the street last September, but later said he was in no hurry to open on Rodeo and was waiting for the right space.
Although Hilfiger has solid penetration in department stores, his label is not as prevalent in Beverly Hills as in other areas. It is carried in Robinsons-May one mile away on Wilshire Boulevard and Bullock’s several miles away in Los Angeles. But pricier Beverly Hills retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York, do not carry the line. Neiman’s does carry the label in certain other locations, including its Newport Beach, Calif., store, about an hour from Beverly Hills.