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mallguy

Upscale retail

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Just curious about people's concepts of "upscale" retail. What stores and shopping centers in Charlotte would you consider upscale? What other centers and stores outside of Charlotte have you been to that you'd truly consider upscale?

For me, I'd say most stores in the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom wings of SouthPark are upscale.

I'd also say that a lot of Phillips Place is upscale.

Outside of Charlotte, I'd say Bal Harbour Shops in Florida is truly upscale and is the most upscale center I've been to, and Madison Avenue in NYC and the Rue du Faubourg St-Honore in Paris are the most upscale streets I've shopped on, along with a few in London.

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I agree with you, the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom wings are what truly define upscale in Charlotte.

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'Upscale' gets bounced around a lot, but the choices listed would definately fit the definition.

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Maybe I'm just not as up on my brands as most here are, but I consider Phillips Place to be a nicely done, upper mid-tier development. But I'm no retail connoisseur, so take that for what it's worth. :)

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In my mind "upscale" doesn't mean expensive in a stuffy mall store, but rather cutting edge design and fashion. It would seem that Charlotte really doesn't have either of these.

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^ Well it is in SP, but Charlotte does have stores like Billy Reid and Hermes, which I feel are cutting edge in design and fashion. Then again, I am no high fashion expert, but they seem that way to me.

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Charlotte isn't NY, Miami, or L.A., nor is it Atlanta. But in the past 5 years or so it has definately gotten a lot more upscale retailers, especially at SP. Who knows what stores we'll see in the next few years! Only time will tell!

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Charlotte isn't NY, Miami, or L.A., nor is it Atlanta. But in the past 5 years or so it has definately gotten a lot more upscale retailers, especially at SP. Who knows what stores we'll see in the next few years! Only time will tell!

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A lot of people don't think outside of the mall as it were. Boris and Natasha carry lines you won't find many places in the South like Vivian Westwood. I think if you look in some of these smaller boutiques closer to center city you're likely to find more cutting edge or high fashion then you may find in the malls where they have to appease such a large demographic.

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That's a valid point. Some of my shopaholic friends complain that Charlotte doesn't have very good high-end/edgy boutiques. Billy Reid is certainly a designer that has cutting-edge clothes (by Southern standards), so there's at least one- maybe more will follow? I don't see any more luxury department stores coming anytime soon, except Saks one of these days, hopefully!

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I think as long as Saks and Bloomingdale's come, that's all that will matter as far as department stores go....but since Raleigh & Charleston both have a Saks, i think it might be difficult for the company to want to open one in CLT as well.....maybe Bloomie's will consider sooner?

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I think as long as Saks and Bloomingdale's come, that's all that will matter as far as department stores go....but since Raleigh & Charleston both have a Saks, i think it might be difficult for the company to want to open one in CLT as well.....maybe Bloomie's will consider sooner?

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I don't know...have you seen the size of the Charleston store? It's tiny! I don't think it's any reason to make someone from Charlotte visit Charleston (though there are plenty of other reasons to visit!). I doubt that Charleston's or Raleigh's Sak's has anything to do with the lack of one in Charlotte.

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In my mind "upscale" doesn't mean expensive in a stuffy mall store, but rather cutting edge design and fashion. It would seem that Charlotte really doesn't have either of these.

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The only Bloomingdale's I have been two are the ones in Manhattan (including the downtown one) and the one at Lenox Square. If the Manhattan ones are typical of Bloomingdale's stores, I consider it about as upscale as a Saks; I'd think that they'd both have Charlotte on the radar screen and that the SouthPark Macy's could easily be converted into a Bloomingdale's, leaving Saks shut out of the market as that would probably be enough upscale department stores for now. Wonder why Macy's hasn't done that (and why May didn't convert that space into a Lord & Taylor)?

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The only Bloomingdale's I have been two are the ones in Manhattan (including the downtown one) and the one at Lenox Square. If the Manhattan ones are typical of Bloomingdale's stores, I consider it about as upscale as a Saks; I'd think that they'd both have Charlotte on the radar screen and that the SouthPark Macy's could easily be converted into a Bloomingdale's, leaving Saks shut out of the market as that would probably be enough upscale department stores for now. Wonder why Macy's hasn't done that (and why May didn't convert that space into a Lord & Taylor)?

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Due to Lord & Taylor's restructuring, they have completely pulled out of the south.

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I absolutely hate that they did that. I don't think if Federated were to convert the SouthPark Macy's to Bloomingdale's that it would shut Saks out of the market. I really wish we could see Bloomingdale's take over the Macy's spot (or Dillard's) and Saks go into the Dick's site. But, there is just something telling me that Uptown may be the location of one of our next upscale department stores.

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I agree with you 100%.

I was distraught when the L&Ts in Atlanta and Raleigh and elsewhere around the South closed. I thought it would have made a great anchor for SouthPark, as would Parisian, but now both are out of the picture. So sad.

I think it would take public financing to get a Saks or the like uptown but if politicians seem to be ready to throw money at museums uptown, maybe they'd do the same for a department store.

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I know that many of us would like more upscale department store options, but there's only so much of this kind of retail that the market can support.

I'll give you an example. I was in Nordstrom SouthPark last night and the men's clearance racks were filled with Burberry, Tailorbyrd, and Armani that simply wasn't selling. I wear tall sizes most times, so it wasn't going to work for me, but it was an excellent oppurtunity to buy some of these brands.

Anyway, even on clearance (on a beautiful Saturday with a store full of people), it wasn't moving at all, and if this stuff doesn't sell for the existing retailers in the market, it's not going to get restocked, and merchants that do come into the market won't stock them.

It's alright to want a Bloomingdale's conversion at SouthPark, or for Saks to replace Dick's, or even to urge for a retaurn of Lord & Taylor, but when these stores come in, somebody's got to buy the stuff, and a good portion should sell for full-price to make retailers take the market seriously.

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^He's right, Charlotte just isn't ready for any more yet.

Yes, I don't see why they pulled out of the south entirely. As some may know, Lord and Taylor was scheduled to come to SouthPark in the late 1980's but it never materialized. Saks as well was supposed to be in the Neiman Marcus spot but that again didn't happen.

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For the department stores fine......Charlotte might be ok right now.....but why is A/X, French Connection, Gucci, Club Monaco, Diesel, D&G, Versace, Zegna, Sony Style, Zara, True Religion, Miss Sixty, Energie, and other boutiques taking so long to come to Charlotte, when places like St. Louis, Kansas City, and Austin already have some of these? We're the 2nd biggest banking city in the US....im sure we can support more upscale retail boutiques at least!

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^For the same reason the department stores aren't here. There's got to be some strong and constant demand for stores to justify their presence.

One important thing to do as Charlotte shoppers is to support designer brands that are in the market to make sales high enough to justify a boutique. Buy some Armani at Nordstrom, or buy some Zegna, Prada, Marc Jacobs and Cartier at Neiman Marcus. If they notice that it sells here, that's half the battle.

You may not believe me, but strong Burberry, Ralph Lauren, St. John, Hermes, Lacoste, and Louis Vuitton sales made them stand up and notice. They're not here just beacuse they needed a place to come to after St. Louis ;)

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I saw that a Burberry at the Shops at Willow Bend in Dallas shut down- I'd imagine that would make another big-name retailer think twice about opening a high-end store in any location in Dallas other than NorthPark/Galleria. Glad such a mess hasn't happened in Charlotte!

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^For the same reason the department stores aren't here. There's got to be some strong and constant demand for stores to justify their presence.

One important thing to do as Charlotte shoppers is to support designer brands that are in the market to make sales high enough to justify a boutique. Buy some Armani at Nordstrom, or buy some Zegna, Prada, Marc Jacobs and Cartier at Neiman Marcus. If they notice that it sells here, that's half the battle.

You may not believe me, but strong Burberry, Ralph Lauren, St. John, Hermes, Lacoste, and Louis Vuitton sales made them stand up and notice. They're not here just beacuse they needed a place to come to after St. Louis ;)

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