Monday, October 01, 2007

Luxury Shopping in Bellevue Update!

Now that the Canadian dollar is on par with its American counterpart, it's (sadly) no longer practical for Seattleites to hoof it up to Vancouver and go for broke. Even as Vancouver's gorgeous new Holt Renfrew opens, there's still a lot to look forward to in our own backyard. For one thing, The Bravern, Schnitzer West's bid at building Bellevue's luxury status, has already confirmed Neiman Marcus as the anchor tenant. Now, Jimmy Choo and Hermès have both confirmed as retail tenants, with Ralph Lauren and Salvatore Ferragamo rumored to be looking into the project. At the same time, Kemper Freeman Jr., the man who created The Bellevue Collection, is also hoping to capture the luxury market. While plans for a Saks Fifth Avenue in Bellevue seem to have halted, Freeman is indeed still interested in bringing luxury retailers to the area, something he's been planning for a long time. Bellevue Square is about to undergo a much-needed facelift, and even mid-market stores like Banana Republic, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn will all be expanded. It seems like the sky's the limit for Bellevue upscale retail. So what does this mean for Seattle? Apparently, a rivalry is in the making. Who will win? The affluent consumer, sans doubt.


Part of the problem with the downtown Nordstrom getting Prada RTW would have been the proximity of other stores that carry Prada within two blocks. Namely, Mario's and Barneys pretty much have Seattleites covered in terms of their Prada needs. Mario's (just a block over) has carried Prada for quite some time, and their selection consists of several classic pieces that more conservative types like to wear, while Barneys (now across the street from Nordstrom) has a tightly-edited but more fashion-forward selection of Prada clothing. Between these two locations, there may not have been a need to oversaturate the two-block radius around downtown Nordstrom with even more Prada clothing. While there may be enough business to carry Prada shoes at all three of these places, the market for Prada RTW certainly requires a different kind of consumer.


Apparently, Aritzia and Lacoste are both coming to Bellevue Square in the next year, meaning the contemporary market is going to see plenty of growth in Bellevue, with Sway & Cake and Nordstrom's Via C, Savvy, and TBD departments already carrying many of the same brands.


Kyle W. said...

Very strange that Jimmy Choo and Hermes have confirmed to open in Bellevue. I don't believe that they'll do very well. Salvatore Ferragamo is more of a mass market luxury brand with over 20 U.S. locations so I'm sure they will open but will close abrubtly following. Louis Vuitton will do fine though. Don't count on brands such as Prada, Versace, Armani, Chanel, Valentino, Chloe, or Dior do go in.
I think these retailers should just stick too, NYC, LA, Boston, SANFRAN, Miami, Hawaii, Chicago.

Don't get to high on yourself with "luxury competition", many malls in the us claim to be housing high end boutiques but define high end boutiques!

David said...

Does this mean that I don't need to find you the PSBJ article?

Kyle W. said...

whats the PSBJ article?

Xavier said...

There was an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal about Prada RTW getting a spot in the Nordstrom remodel at Bellevue Square. The article is online here:
But, you need to be a print subscriber to access, which I am not.

Kyle W. said...

It doesn't take much for a department store such as Nordstom to get an in-store boutique from brands such as Prada. I am quite surprised it wasn't already here considering the fact that this is a wealthy area, but if you look at all of Prada's instore boutiques there are over 60 in the nation. Mostly saturated in NYC, LA, San Fran, Boston, Florida, and other cities in California.
I actually had read the article in the puget sound buisness journal before you mentioned it and it didn't mention what would be available. Sometimes instore boutiques only over a small amount of handbags or sunglasses/assessories.

Kyle W. said...

sorry, i re read the article and it said it would hold ready to wear, but that still isn't out of the ordinary.

also i made myself seem as though i was from the area (seattle metro) im actually living in manhattan and work in the fashion industry

Kyle W. said...

and in my very first post, i didn't mean not to count on brands like prada, versace, and armani to go into like neiman marcus or nordstom, but that they would most likely not open a direct point of sale boutique (which is owned by themselves)
prada is the least likely of the brands because their investing over 20million in a new boston epicenter store to open in june next year, can't wait!