Frantic searches to set up shop in tony parts of L.A.

intermix.jpgWith consumer spending on the rise, especially among affluent shoppers, it's little wonder that merchants are starting to compete for the most desirable locations. Stores along Beverly Drive and in portions of West Hollywood are being snapped up. As you might guess, prices are ludicrous: One space at the corner of Beverly Drive and
Brighton Way is said to be leasing for $180 a square foot. That compares with $25 a square foot, give or take, at some of the larger Socal malls. From the WSJ:

With the economic recovery still tentative, it's more important than ever for retailers to find sweet spots—great "50-yard line" locations, as Intermix co-founder Khajak Keledjian puts it. Stores want a magical blend of address and aesthetics that will make them magnets for stylish shoppers. Finding such gems requires perfect timing—as well as research, gut instinct and shoe leather. The race is accelerating in Beverly Hills and the adjacent West Hollywood neighborhood, where Céline, Isabel Marant, Theory and Rachel Zoe have recently pounced on new locations. Scoop, a boutique chain with 16 stores nationwide, is planning to open a store in Brentwood next month and is seeking a space on Beverly Drive.


Zeroing in on a perfect address is less science than romance, and each retailer chooses differently. Haro Keledjian rejected one Los Angeles-area store space because the corner gave him a feeling of "bad feng shui." He rejected another because a nearby store happened to be holding a sale when he was in the neighborhood. He feels corner locations are more visible than stores in the middle of the block, and he prefers independent, walkable streets to malls.

Photo: WSJ

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