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SouthPark Mall

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SouthPark is getting pretty good stores. Just not in the right areas. Microsoft and Boston Proper are opening in the former Sur la Table location. Then Vince Camuto in the former Juicy space. I don't really understand this. Again, these are nice stores, but why can't SouthPark get anything that is more unique? A new mall in Sarasota, Florida is supposedly opening with Gucci, OMEGA, Hugo Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc. Why can't SouthPark have any of these? Also, a CH Carolina Herrera recently opened up in San Antonio, Texas. Jimmy Choo has been in Nashville for years. It would be nice to have these stores in other areas of the mall, but I think the Nordstrom wing and especially the NM wing should be reserved for higher end tenants. When Ralph Lauren closed, many people didn't even realize that it existed, and I think that Vince Camuto will be the same. It is sold in the higher end department at Belk and the lower end department at Nordstrom, and these people aren't exactly NM's target client. People passing by NM would shop at any of the stores above, but not very many would shop at Vince Camuto, and vice-versa. 

 

I know Charlotte is clearly not a mecca of high end shopping, but a few nicer stores would do okay here. I think lately Simon has been pretty lackluster with a lot of their malls lately, and I am disappointed. I love SouthPark, and I think it is a great mall, but Simon isn't doing a lot to improve it and make it an all-around better mall. I think they are doing well to add more popular brands like they have lately, but it is at the expense of the higher end stores. Also, I know the mall can't do too much without an expansion. The fact that the Charlotte metro area has nearly 2.5 million people and only 3 malls isn't a lot of shopping, and an expansion at SouthPark is necessary and would do well, it is just not very practical. 

Edited by 101_ce

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SouthPark is getting pretty good stores. Just not in the right areas. Microsoft and Boston Proper are opening in the former Sur la Table location. Then Vince Camuto in the former Juicy space. I don't really understand this. Again, these are nice stores, but why can't SouthPark get anything that is more unique? A new mall in Sarasota, Florida is supposedly opening with Gucci, OMEGA, Hugo Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc. Why can't SouthPark have any of these? Also, a CH Carolina Herrera recently opened up in San Antonio, Texas. Jimmy Choo has been in Nashville for years. It would be nice to have these stores in other areas of the mall, but I think the Nordstrom wing and especially the NM wing should be reserved for higher end tenants. When Ralph Lauren closed, many people didn't even realize that it existed, and I think that Vince Camuto will be the same. It is sold in the higher end department at Belk and the lower end department at Nordstrom, and these people aren't exactly NM's target client. People passing by NM would shop at any of the stores above, but not very many would shop at Vince Camuto, and vice-versa. 

 

I know Charlotte is clearly not a mecca of high end shopping, but a few nicer stores would do okay here. I think lately Simon has been pretty lackluster with a lot of their malls lately, and I am disappointed. I love SouthPark, and I think it is a great mall, but Simon isn't doing a lot to improve it and make it an all-around better mall. I think they are doing well to add more popular brands like they have lately, but really they can't do a lot to better the mall without an expansion. The fact that the Charlotte metro area has nearly 2.5 million people and only 3 malls isn't a lot of shopping, and an expansion at SouthPark is necessary and would do well, it is just not very practical. 

I concur with your comment about how the stores they are adding to the NM/Nordstrom wings are not as high-end as they should be.  We should definately have a Gucci store by now.  Charleston has had one for God knows how many years.  Yes it's small but still.  I think that would bring a significant amount of foot traffic on that side of the mall.  A lot of people don't even walk on that side but if they had a world-known brand like Gucci, Prada, or Fendi, there would be a huge draw to that wing.  By the way, Charlotte has more than 3 malls. SouthPark, Carolina Place, Northlake, and if you include Concord Mills, Birkdale Village and Charlotte Premium Outlets (which opens this month), we have 6.  I know The Arboretum and Blakeney Village are not malls but they also have a significant amount of retail stores that would traditionally be in malls.  

Edited by Temeteron
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I concur with your comment about how the stores they are adding to the NM/Nordstrom wings are not as high-end as they should be.  We should definately have a Gucci store by now.  Charleston has had one for God knows how many years.  Yes it's small but still.  I think that would bring a significant amount of foot traffic on that side of the mall.  A lot of people don't even walk on that side but if they had a world-known brand like Gucci, Prada, or Fendi, there would be a huge draw to that wing.  By the way, Charlotte has more than 3 malls. SouthPark, Carolina Place, Northlake, and if you include Concord Mills, Birkdale Village and Charlotte Premium Outlets (which opens this month), we have 6.  I know The Arboretum and Blakeney Village are not malls but they also have a significant amount of retail stores that would traditionally be in malls.  

I think a medium sized Gucci and maybe even a small Prada store would do okay here. Maybe not very well, but I think it is an investment and they would end up benefitting from the investment of the market as it grows. 

 

I suppose I should have said that Charlotte has only 3 traditional malls. Yes, these others are retail, but they are different. I would say for the high end dollars that SouthPark competes with Lenox and Phipps more than the other Charlotte malls. Also, I don't think there are that many high end shoppers at outlet malls. Often times the quality is not the same, and I have found better deals at NM for full quality items rather than Saks Off Fifth with lower quality. That one up in Concord Mills is just dreadful. There is hardly anything there that is not at the full-line stores, except for Saks' brand. Now for the regular shoppers, I am sure there are many overlapping with regular and outlet. Either way, I still think that Charlotte could support more retail space in the way of a traditional mall. Northlake has some nice overlaps with SouthPark at the moment at least, but I really can't see any new to market stores choosing it over SouthPark, but SP has no space and will have to get rid of other stores to attract them. 

Also, on Tisha Maley's website (the merchandising advisor for SouthPark), she has in her portfolio David Yurman SouthPark and the Louis Vuitton expansion as a "luxury remerchandising". Adding two stores (Yurman and Armani) and expanding one is not a remerchandising, even for SouthPark. 

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Well, I must point out that you said Charlotte has 2.5 million people, I assume you are referring to the CSA, which would include at least the traditional malls in Concord, Gastonia, Rock Hill, Salisbury, Statesville, Monroe, etc.

 

The fact that there isn't a lot of high end retail in Charlotte is a product of Charlotte's image.  As more and more people from the north and west flock to this area, the more there will be demand for a more cosmopolitan, high fashion presence to start building up here.  Sure Charleston has a mini-Gucci, but Charleston also has a much larger tourism draw than Charlotte in a single area.  Charlotte's "tourist attractions" aren't really centered to one district so we don't have a "perfect location" for a store like Gucci.  The draw to place high end retail in a mall may not be as high as it would to place it in a pedestrian stroll district with higher than average levels of tourist activity.  That's not to say that there aren't exceptions to that rule (as there are plenty of Gucci's in malls across the country.)  The more first-time customers a store has in general, the more likely they are to succeed.  Residents can only buy so many handbags (ie.)  Point is, Southpark may not be busy enough to sustain a lot of high end retailers based on our current demographics.

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SouthPark is getting pretty good stores. Just not in the right areas. Microsoft and Boston Proper are opening in the former Sur la Table location. Then Vince Camuto in the former Juicy space. I don't really understand this. Again, these are nice stores, but why can't SouthPark get anything that is more unique? A new mall in Sarasota, Florida is supposedly opening with Gucci, OMEGA, Hugo Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc. Why can't SouthPark have any of these? Also, a CH Carolina Herrera recently opened up in San Antonio, Texas. Jimmy Choo has been in Nashville for years. It would be nice to have these stores in other areas of the mall, but I think the Nordstrom wing and especially the NM wing should be reserved for higher end tenants. When Ralph Lauren closed, many people didn't even realize that it existed, and I think that Vince Camuto will be the same. It is sold in the higher end department at Belk and the lower end department at Nordstrom, and these people aren't exactly NM's target client. People passing by NM would shop at any of the stores above, but not very many would shop at Vince Camuto, and vice-versa. 

 

I know Charlotte is clearly not a mecca of high end shopping, but a few nicer stores would do okay here. I think lately Simon has been pretty lackluster with a lot of their malls lately, and I am disappointed. I love SouthPark, and I think it is a great mall, but Simon isn't doing a lot to improve it and make it an all-around better mall. I think they are doing well to add more popular brands like they have lately, but it is at the expense of the higher end stores. Also, I know the mall can't do too much without an expansion. The fact that the Charlotte metro area has nearly 2.5 million people and only 3 malls isn't a lot of shopping, and an expansion at SouthPark is necessary and would do well, it is just not very practical. 

Just because Concord Mills isn't high end doesn't mean it is excluded from being a "traditional mall." Sure maybe Charlotte could support more high end stores, but the fact that maybe we don't means that Charlotte actually can not currently support more.

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Well, I must point out that you said Charlotte has 2.5 million people, I assume you are referring to the CSA, which would include at least the traditional malls in Concord, Gastonia, Rock Hill, Salisbury, Statesville, Monroe, etc.

 

The fact that there isn't a lot of high end retail in Charlotte is a product of Charlotte's image.  As more and more people from the north and west flock to this area, the more there will be demand for a more cosmopolitan, high fashion presence to start building up here.  Sure Charleston has a mini-Gucci, but Charleston also has a much larger tourism draw than Charlotte in a single area.  Charlotte's "tourist attractions" aren't really centered to one district so we don't have a "perfect location" for a store like Gucci.  The draw to place high end retail in a mall may not be as high as it would to place it in a pedestrian stroll district with higher than average levels of tourist activity.  That's not to say that there aren't exceptions to that rule (as there are plenty of Gucci's in malls across the country.)  The more first-time customers a store has in general, the more likely they are to succeed.  Residents can only buy so many handbags (ie.)  Point is, Southpark may not be busy enough to sustain a lot of high end retailers based on our current demographics.

 

I really don't like Gucci, I just think that Charlotte could have more high end retail. It is really more just having them just to have them. I like high end stores, but not Gucci. 

 

At the moment SouthPark is the obvious best location for high end retail in Charlotte. I really like SouthPark, but I do agree that it would be nicer to have a nice walkable district with high end stores as well. I feel like just about any high end store would go into a high end mall by default with this being America. With the exception of New York, LA, Chicago, Palm Beach, Aspen, Seattle, and Boston, you can't really find, unfortunately, a lot of walkable shopping districts. Also, I think that a lot of it has to do with already having the local boutiques like Coplons, Capital, etc. that have been here longer than Neiman's. 

 

Just because Concord Mills isn't high end doesn't mean it is excluded from being a "traditional mall." Sure maybe Charlotte could support more high end stores, but the fact that maybe we don't means that Charlotte actually can not currently support more.

 

Concord Mills is essentially an outlet mall. That is why it it is not a traditional mall, nor is the Premium Outlets, or Birkdale Village. They of course should not be counted out for discussion. 

 

Now that I think about it, however, Charlotte isn't exactly behind cities of similar size. I think as it grows into a larger city we will get more. Mainly it is more about many leases expiring at SouthPark. Now, it is kind of at the point where SP is "stuck" and won't really be able to add any more high end retailers until 5 years or so. In 10 years, more leases will expire and the mall will be "shaken up" again, kind of like this year with all of the new stores and stores relocating and expanding. 

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I don't really understand the thinking of "we should have more because we can support it". It's not like Charlotte is some mysterious city way off the beaten path that no one knows exists. I'm sure the people who make these sort of decisions for these luxury retailers have sat down and crunched the numbers (demographics, median income, pop density, etc, etc) for a location here and they apparently determined that it would not be profitable for them right now. To me that says we can't support more high end retail at the moment.

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I think most of it is a combination of wishful thinking, and the fact that SouthPark is supposedly undergoing a "remerchandising to increase luxury offerings", but I don't think that adding 2 new stores and expanding one is not really a remerchandising at all. Also, this fact also makes it seem like others could come, but they are not. Before, SouthPark was full and the recession was in full swing. That's not the case anymore. SouthPark's luxury stores seem to be much healthier than the recession. Back in 2009, there may be 1 or 2 people browsing in Louis Vuitton on a busier day at the mall, but now on a busy day I see at least 5 or 6 and a few making purchases. It doesn't take a lot to become profitable for these stores, and somewhere I heard that our store is one of the better performing ones. The fact that they are expanding shows that they are doing well. 

 

 Now the Armani store on the other hand, it seems to always be empty and apparently not a lot of people know about it.  Also, it is different because this a brand that is just now opening up their own stores. Before, they were always in department stores only and it may take them some time to get everything right. As far as I know, there is only 1 other Collezioni store in the US. 

 

I mean, the brands that I mentioned weren't exactly crazy or anything. I think that if there is enough wealth to support an Hermes store, then there is enough wealth to have some more others. I think it is probably more of the retailers being more cautious, and also maybe slow online sales in the Carolinas. It is not like I mentioned something like Alexander McQueen or Dolce & Gabbana that wouldn't ever come here, and probably wouldn't sell much either. 

Edited by 101_ce

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It also could simply be a lack of desirable locations for these type of retailers. Southpark is for the most part full and until a developer builds an upscale stroll district Charlotte just may not have enough of the type of places these businesses require. Some of these talked about lobby rebuilds uptown would be perfect in my opinion but maybe the density is still not there for a Gucci or Fendi or whatever is hot right now.

 

Also, maybe Charlotte does have enough wealth to support a Hermes, but it is possible it may not have quite enough wealth within a certain radius to support a Hermes and two or three other high end handbag makers. Maybe the brands that aren't yet here don't want to compete to the death for what they may perceive as a still small pool of potential customers.

 

Having said all of that I know very little about how luxury retailers think and work so I'm most likely talking out of my ass. I just feel that there has to be a reason why they are not coming here yet and it typically comes down to numbers.

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The talked about Microsoft store (permanent vs aisle stand) at South Park is now confirmed.  Durham's The Streets at Southpoint is getting one as well.

 

Kind of funny that they show Lenny Kravitz and Adam Levine performing (at other locations) further down in the page.   Do these kind of store openings actually have concerts as a gimmick?   Who would have thought?

Edited by Urbanity

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It also could simply be a lack of desirable locations for these type of retailers. Southpark is for the most part full and until a developer builds an upscale stroll district Charlotte just may not have enough of the type of places these businesses require. Some of these talked about lobby rebuilds uptown would be perfect in my opinion but maybe the density is still not there for a Gucci or Fendi or whatever is hot right now.

 

Also, maybe Charlotte does have enough wealth to support a Hermes, but it is possible it may not have quite enough wealth within a certain radius to support a Hermes and two or three other high end handbag makers. Maybe the brands that aren't yet here don't want to compete to the death for what they may perceive as a still small pool of potential customers.

 

Having said all of that I know very little about how luxury retailers think and work so I'm most likely talking out of my ass. I just feel that there has to be a reason why they are not coming here yet and it typically comes down to numbers.

No, I would say this is pretty spot on. Good point. 

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By this thread, I'd think that SouthPark were nothing but a glorified Eastridge Mall in Gastonia.  SouthPark has plenty of luxury stores, from Burberry to Neiman Marcus.  There are more upscale malls in larger metro areas, but SouthPark is a class act and is very attractive.

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By this thread, I'd think that SouthPark were nothing but a glorified Eastridge Mall in Gastonia.  SouthPark has plenty of luxury stores, from Burberry to Neiman Marcus.  There are more upscale malls in larger metro areas, but SouthPark is a class act and is very attractive.

Very, very true. SouthPark is on par with the premier centers of any city it's size, and even better than many. You just get your hopes up for more than 2 new stores when they mention a "luxury remerchandising". That's all. I can shop to my heart's content and leave with my wallet much less empty. I just want it to continue improving. It is improving a lot, but it needs more men's stores too. Armani, Burberry, and Neiman Marcus are about the only high end men's (clothing) stores. In the middle there are J. Crew, Banana Republic, Vineyard Vines, Lacoste; and on the somewhat lower end there are Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, Express, and soon to be H&M. It isn't too shabby, but a few more would be great. Especially because some of them are more for teens. Of course all of the department stores have Men's as well. 

Edited by 101_ce

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I think if someone had the cajońes to build something similar to the Lincoln Road mall in South Beach we would see a ton of new brands enter the market. Not sure where something like this would go, but close off an under utilized and unnecessary street to vehicles for about three blocks, build a few bistro style cafes where the street once was, install some lush landscaping with plenty of benches and shade and voila, a stroll district that luxury retailers would be tripping over themselves to get in on.

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I dont think it has anything to do with Charlotte not being able to support other high end stores. There just isnt anyroom at Southpark. Lenox and phipps were having this same problem. Certain retailers were eager to enter the market but there was no room. It took building a upscale shopping district to get certain brands like Christian Louboutin, Scoop NYC Moncler Helmut Lang etc. Lenox is going threw remerchandising also. There about to relocate some stores for the upcoming TopShop store and recently annouced Diane Von Furstenburg is opening at Lenox. Intermix is relocating from Phipps to Lenox.

What Im really curious to know is why isnt a Zara, Club Monaco, or Diesel at Southpark they could have kept H&M and Marketed for a Zara instead.

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I dont think it has anything to do with Charlotte not being able to support other high end stores. There just isnt anyroom at Southpark. Lenox and phipps were having this same problem. Certain retailers were eager to enter the market but there was no room. It took building a upscale shopping district to get certain brands like Christian Louboutin, Scoop NYC Moncler Helmut Lang etc. Lenox is going threw remerchandising also. There about to relocate some stores for the upcoming TopShop store and recently annouced Diane Von Furstenburg is opening at Lenox. Intermix is relocating from Phipps to Lenox.

What Im really curious to know is why isnt a Zara, Club Monaco, or Diesel at Southpark they could have kept H&M and Marketed for a Zara instead.

There wasn't any room for a long time, but now there was and nothing is going in, unfortunately. I thought that they were able to support more than 2 new retailers, but I don't know now. There is a small space next to Armani and BCBG that is just sitting empty. Also, Juicy Couture closed and will be a Vince Camuto. Sur la Table moved and now Microsoft and Boston Proper are opening. That's 4 stores that could have became luxury retailers, but that didn't happen. They were some of the best spaces in the mall, with close proximity to the center court and/or Nordstrom and NM. If a retailer is holding out for a better location than SouthPark I think they will be waiting for a while. 

 

I think we'll just have to wait another 5 years when more leases expire. If the economy continues, to pick up, I can't see why 4 or 5 new luxury retailers won't open up if the space opens up. 

 

The good thing is that I don't think there's a single tacky temporary store left in the mall. Some of them were okay, but a few others were pretty tacky. 

Edited by 101_ce

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^ I have to disagree.  There is plenty of tacky at SP.  Gangs of irritating Israelis chasing patrons down the corridors to push Dead Sea lotions, kiosks selling spatulas that sear my favorite sports teams into the top of my burger, and a hair crimping chair right in front of Apple.  Classy.

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Pedestrian malls typically don't succeed unless located in a resort town, tourist area, or college town.

True. Greenville, SC, surprisingly, has higher-end mall chains in its downtown, although there is still a 2-lane Main Street in the middle of the main pedestrian area and the sidewalks aren't particularly wide.

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^ I have to disagree.  There is plenty of tacky at SP.  Gangs of irritating Israelis chasing patrons down the corridors to push Dead Sea lotions, kiosks selling spatulas that sear my favorite sports teams into the top of my burger, and a hair crimping chair right in front of Apple.  Classy.

 

I said temporary store. Kiosks are different. They (or most of them) are very tacky, and I hate them. The one that sells custom ornaments around Christmas is okay, though, as is See's Candy. 

 

I agree with you.  Reading these posts makes SP sound like a mall barely hanging on to stay open. 

 

I don't really see how people keep saying this. I just said that I wasn't completely happy with how things are going around there. I even said that the stores they were adding were good. I never said anything about it being a sub-par mall. I just thought they could do a little better with leasing and store placement. Good stores, I just thought they would do a little more for a luxury remerchandising. I guess I didn't seem satisfied at first, but it's because I like the mall so much that I want to see it improve a little more than it is.

 

A few months back I remember I was pretty confused at seeing a Vans poster thing in front of Neiman Marcus. Didn't make a lot of sense to me. I love SouthPark, but things like that make me a little skeptical, as well as adding 2 stores as a "remerchandising". Makes me wonder a little, that's all. 

Edited by 101_ce

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Okay, just to prove my point again: Hartmann, the maker of luggage already sold at Mori Luggage AND Belk at SouthPark, is opening in space N12A, which should be the space next to Armani. Seriously? In a great space for a luxury tenant. I thought Jimmy Choo would be interested. They are already in Nashville, and Charlotte has higher income and higher population. Nashville is more touristy, but I don't think Green Hills attracts them like Opry Mills does. They have quite a bit of Jimmy Choo at NM, so having a store wouldn't be crazy or anything. 

 

This is why I am a little worried about SouthPark. It is a better place than it was a few years back, but I still think they could be getting stores a little better than this. SouthPark will be a better mall if it can get brands that you can't find elsewhere, or are harder to find; not brands that are already found in a few stores in the mall, and in other nearby malls. 

Edited by 101_ce

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