Shopping Centers Today

JUL 2014

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 34 of 59

well, she says, and so the brand tends to look for pockets with high Asian populations. "They opened two stores in Orange County at the end of 2013 and just opened another in Torrance," Skrbin said. "I'm sure other U.S. mar- kets are soon to follow." As in New York City, chic bou- tiques are part of the mix also on the West Coast. Downtown Los Angeles, in particular, continues to attract its share of high-fashion stores from Eu- rope. At the end of last year, Stock- holm, Sweden–based retailer Acne Studios opened a flagship in the his- toric, art-deco-style Eastern Columbia building on South Broadway. Acne Studios had already entered the U.S. with a New York City store. (The dermatological-sounding name is no typo — it stands for "Ambition to Create Novel Expressions," accord- ing to designer and Acne Studios co-founder Jonny Johansson.) The Acne Studios flagship happens to be across from the restored Orpheum Theatre and near the newly opened Ace Hotel, a celebrated renovation of the 1920s-era United Artists build- ing. "For Acne Studios in particular, [Jonny Johansson] seeks out unique sites," Skrbin said. "He is looking for interesting architecture." T-shirts at Acne Studios sell for about $100. "And that is the low end of the price point," Skrbin said. For landlords, international ten- ants are appealing in part because they can give shoppers some exciting new stores to shop at a time when ho- mogenous lineups are commonplace, says Jamie Bourbeau, senior vice presi- dent of the Macerich outlet division. "From a merchandising standpoint, it is important for us at Macerich to really differentiate ourselves from the competition and provide more shop- ping options for our customers," she said. But because global chains are looking to make a brand-building splash as they open U.S. stores, they will not move into just any property. When Macerich and AWE Talisman opened the 530,000-square-foot Fash- ion Outlets of Chicago last year, that joint venture was tailor-made to draw global chains aiming to launch or ex- pand their U.S. outlet concepts. The 150-store outlet mall is just minutes from O'Hare International Airport and is surrounded by 12,000 hotel rooms serving tourists from around the globe, particularly from Asia. "We have seen a growing influx of Asian tourists at our outlet centers," Bour- beau said. "They tend to be familiar with many of the European brands and are not price-sensitive." On the design front, Macerich and Talisman urged tenants at the Chicago property to sink more money into the look and feel of their stores. And they, in turn, reciprocated by splurging on finishes of granite, marble and stone throughout the $250 million mall, and by offering a seven-deck parking garage, art installations and white-tablecloth restaurants. This helped lure the likes of Calypso St. Barth, Herve Leger and L.K.Bennett London. But international chains do face ob- stacles when they enter the U.S. The struggles of some British companies are a case in point. Last year Tesco sold its stateside Fresh & Easy stores to a private equity firm after failing to connect with consumers in several J u l y 2 0 1 4 / S C T 35 I r e l a n d ' s p r I I s c o m I n g t o b o s t o n I n 2 0 1 5 . n e t h e r l a n d s - b a s e d s u I t s u p p l y , I s I n a t l a n t a ( a b o v e ) a n d o t h e r m a j o r 32-36_SCT_JUL14_Cover international brands coming to USA.indd 35 6/12/14 5:53 PM

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