Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flagship stores aren't supposed to be profitable?

From Urbanite: "landlords are negotiating better deals and rates are down a third across the city, according to Faith Hope Consolo, the head of the retail leasing division at Prudential Douglas Elliman. Consolo called this 'one of the best times in retail history to sign leases,'....[Fifth Avenue flagship stores] are not just about how much money they bring in, Consolo said. 'Flagships have no relativity to the market, they’re not solely in business to make retail sales, they are making statements,' she said."

Is there anyone who believes that? Because where are the retailers who can afford to make "statements" anymore? And I don't know who a high-profile location is supposed to impress now that shoppers are "drastically cutting back on spending on status handbags and clothing."

Maybe I'm not being fair. If, say, Neiman Marcus were ever to pull their flagship store out of downtown Dallas, it would be a sort of tragedy. The home of Fortnight and the lone downtown Christmas-time attraction for so many years, it really is a statement of what a great retailer can mean to a city. Oh gosh. I don't know. Let's talk about this over lunch at the Zodiac Room, OK?

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