BIG NAMES HEAD FOR SAN JOSE
Byline: Kristin Young
LOS ANGELES — Despite dot-com woes and a sagging economy, Silicon Valley is still luring the big names.
Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Tiffany & Co. are moving into Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair in San Jose, Calif., as part of the center’s $164 million renovation, mall developer Westfield Corp. said last week.
Vuitton is planning a 4,700-square-foot global store offering accessories, luggage, ready-to-wear and shoe collections. It will be the brand’s fourth store in California.
Dior, meanwhile, has slated a 2,300-square-foot unit that will carry women’s rtw and accessories.
Both stores are expected to open by spring 2002.
Tiffany announced that it, too, will open a unit there this summer, measuring 6,000 square feet.
John Slavinsky, senior vice president of real estate and store planning of the LVMH Fashion Group, said the area has been “highly successful” for luxury brands in the past few years and there is a strong possibility that other LVMH Fashion Group brands will announce plans to open stores there.
“The demographics in Silicon Valley are second to none in regard to wealth and buying power,” said Slavinksy. “The addition of the dot-commers has certainly added to this wealth. A young, hip crowd is value-added to what was already a great setting to open a luxury boutique.”
The area boasts 1.7 million potential customers with annual incomes higher than $100,000. The center pulls in $617 million in annual sales, with 470,000 square feet of specialty stores accounting for about $790 per square foot per year.
Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair is undergoing a redevelopment that will add 300,000 square feet of retail space to the 1.1 million-square-foot mall. Macy’s, Macy’s Men’s & Home and the soon-to-be-opened Nordstrom unit are anchors. Nordstrom is expected to open by March.
Other retailers include Abercrombie & Fitch, A|X Armani Exchange, a two-level flagship Banana Republic, Coach, Bebe and Ann Taylor.
With the addition of Vuitton, Dior and Tiffany, this is Westfield’s first foray into the luxury market.