High-end Stores Pop Up Amidst Recession

October 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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By Rachael Borne
rborne@smu.edu

On a recent sunny Friday afternoon, the Highland Park Village parking lot is filled with Mercedes, BMWs and even Bentleys. Groups of women and solo shoppers crowd the sidewalks with their shopping bags. To an outsider, it looks as if the recession didn’t hit here.

As the rest of America tries to recover from a hard-hit economy, Highland Park Village shows no need for recovery. Instead, the shopping center is expanding, adding two more high-end stores, Christian Louboutin, which is now open, and Diane von Furstenberg, opening in November. Both stores are located off of Douglas Avenue, amidst many other expensive stores.

Stephen Summers, a partner and the director of leasing at Highland Park Village, and his team took over ownership of the Village last May, in hopes of adding as many new venues as possible, even in a rough economy.

Due to the recession, he knew it would take a few years to bring in the right kind of tenants his team wanted. Summers overestimated the time frame he determined. With so many interested stores, they now have a “problem” deciding which deal to take.

“Obviously we have been able to attract a great amount [of attendants] in a much quicker time frame,” said Summers.

Highland Park Village is filled with high-end clothing, furniture and jewelry stores along with a grocery store and a variety of restaurants. The outdoor center, with over 200,000 square feet, contains over 100 store fronts, which are almost all rented. Located at Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road, the Village sits in the middle of the affluent town of highland Park and attracts many local residents, especially those who love high-end fashion.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the average income in Highland Park is over $150,000 and the average house value is over $800,000.

Many shoppers of Highland Park Village are well aware of the new stores arriving, including Tiffany Miller. Even through the recession, she shops at the Village the same amount, twice a month.

“I shop there usually for handbags,” said Miller.

With Christian Louboutin now open, she will have to branch out and try on a pair of shoes. Miller said she isn’t opposed to spending over $1,000 on a pair of shoes, if it is the right pair.

Shelby Flaten, a Dallas resident and mother of three, had no idea two new stores were coming to Highland Park Village. After shopping for her children’s school supplies at a south Garland Target, Flaten is pleased with the amount of money she just saved. She shops at the Village occasionally, but only at the grocery store.

“Spending over $1,000 on a pair of shoes is just overboard, completely overboard,” she said.

While some shoppers say they are excited for the stores arrivals, other residents focus more on necessary purchases.

Tara Mason, a Dallas resident and mother of two, enjoys window-shopping at the high-end stores in Highland Park Village. Mason is more a frequent shopper of Target and similar stores, where she can get almost everything on her list in one stop.

“I rarely purchase super high-end merchandise. If I spend $1,000 on a pair of shoes, they would have to be the shoes of a lifetime,” said Mason.

The stores neighboring Christian Louboutin and Diane von Furstenberg, mostly apparel and accessory stores, were not able to comment on the arrival of Christian Louboutin and Diane von Furstenberg. However, Summers said that these stores do not feel threatened by the new ones. Instead they are thrilled with the openings, he said.

“The new additions make other retailers want to be here because of it, because they know they are drawing in the right kind of traffic,” said Summers.

While some shoppers of the Village were seem indifferent of the recession, Mason has seen the effects of it through her work with Dallas elementary schools fundraisers. She has seen how people now have limited donation dollars, which challenges her work, she said. Even though the recession might not have hit Highland Park, other areas of Dallas were clearly affected.

Summers said that the center actually was affected by the recession, but not as severely as other areas of Dallas.

“We withstood the recession quite well, most retailers were down 25 to 35 percent and in our worst year we were down only 3 percent. We actually had several retailers that were up, which was shocking and impressive,” he said.

Daily Update: Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

August 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Daily Update: Aug 30, 2010 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Watch today’s Daily Update to hear about Obama’s trip to New Orleans. Also learn about the partnership between Target and Radio Shack and the eruption of a 400 year old dormant volcano.

Big D Blog: Zac Posen Opens a New Target Line

May 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Sarah Pottharst

For those of you who love Zac Posen’s stuff (and how could you not…), but can’t afford any of it on a college budget, there’s good news…

You’ll be happy to know that he just debuted a new clothing line for Target on Apr 25.

Adorable floral skirts and retro gold dresses are among some of the items available for purchase. The most notable part about this line is the array of funky patterns. Posen utilizes multiple shapes and colors, from muted to bight, to spice up a casual look.

Also available are many black pieces – skirts, dresses, and pants suit – things necessary in every girl’s closet.