LOS ANGELES — Tommy Hilfiger threw in the retail towel here this week.
All three Hilfiger stores in the greater Los Angeles area closed as of Wednesday, only two years after they opened to replace the corporation’s much-publicized shutter of a 20,000-square-foot Rodeo Drive address in February 2001. There are no other California locations.
Locations at the Beverly Center in West Hollywood, Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, all opened in November 2001, have been vacated, a New York-based spokesman confirmed. The representative would not comment on further closures.
Opening the smaller locations in three distinct neighborhoods was once a plan to target a younger, hipper customer — a crowd the Beverly Hills location never managed to attract. At 8,400 square feet, Hilfiger’s two-level store at Hollywood & Highland was its largest unit in the city and stocked not only women’s and men’s sportswear, jeans and bath products, but vintage pieces culled by Hilfiger buyers.
As reported, Tommy Hilfiger started the closures of 37 specialty stores in the U.S. beginning in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. The last unit, a location in Florida, is scheduled to close this month. A SoHo unit in Manhattan and a location in the Westchester Mall in White Plains, N.Y., will remain open.
Although Hilfiger stores have closed in several cities, industry observers said the units had a particularly rough time in this city defined by its jeans-and-flip-flop style.
“It’s really much more conducive to a New York clientele,” said Barbara Fields, owner and president of Barbara Fields Buying Office.