The long holiday weekend has proven that stores are always important to shoppers, at least this time of year.
Optimistic retailers have banked on consumers returning to stores as pandemic restrictions eased. From pop-ups to permanent locations and offshoring, local entrepreneurs and national chains have engaged in new stores in the Dallas area.
âDallas is a big retail market where people come in early in their growth,â said Steve Dennis, Dallas-based retail strategist and author of Outstanding Retail. âAnd there is a new appreciation for physical retail. Many new brands with new capital are in a race to grow their valuations. I don’t see it stopping.
The new retail has an old manual to follow, he said. The many new brands that started online, such as Yeti, Allbirds, Away Luggage, Leatherology, Outdoor Voices and Untuckit, have followed the path laid out decades ago by catalogs such as Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table and J Jill. . They opened stores where they had a lot of catalog customers, he said. Likewise, established brands that have started selling direct to consumers online in recent years, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton, are also following customers with new stores. The two opened at Plano’s Legacy West this year.
Some concepts are driven by people who quit or were forced to quit their day job and started their own business. Creative types have filled new collaborative spaces, such as MKT Dallas in West Village and Mosaic Makers in the Bishop Arts District. The two opened second stores at Galleria Dallas.
Others prove that only one category, from succulents to lipstick, can be carved out of a new store concept.
Courtney Goldberg’s Urban Spikes design studio on Alpha Road in Dallas is now open to buyers. After a 10-year career in public relations, Goldberg, a mother of three boys under the age of 9, discovered that she had a talent as a plant designer. Goldberg’s store is filled with his modern botanical, succulent, and cactus arrangements, as well as sand, rocks, natural gems, driftwood, and plants used to create custom orders or for buyers who want to design their own. .
Canadian cosmetics brand Bite Beauty decided they had an experience to share with their lipstick brand Lip Lab. It had been sold exclusively through Sephora and this summer began opening lipstick stores in the United States. Its first store in Texas is at the NorthPark Center. For $ 60, buyers can create a shade, select a finish (matte, satin, luminous, or transparent), and then choose packaging. They can also name their exclusive color.
The shopping center
NorthPark is taking advantage as retailers consider heading to Texas.
Faherty, a family-owned clothing company that started out as a wholesale brand, has opened stores, including one in NorthPark. The twin brothers dreamed of creating their own brand and got back together in 2013 after one worked at Ralph Lauren and the other in investment banking at Cerberus.
One of the oldest American brands, Levi Strauss & Co., has a new concept store. He plans to open 100, including one in NorthPark later this month.
Jo Malone London, an established British fragrance brand sold through Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, opened a boutique in NorthPark after deciding to branch out with its own storefronts. The store offers all of its 30 fragrances for him, for her and for the home in the form of candles, diffusers, bath and body products. The lifestyle brand even offers perfumes for weddings.
Jewelry brand Maria Tash, which so far has just three stores in the United States, has just made a pledge to open in NorthPark next spring.
New concepts are springing up from the growing number of people who want to be their own boss.
âThese days you can be whatever you want to be. Now I say I’m a plant designer, âsaid Goldberg, whose company Urban Spikes has three employees and corporate clients who buy botanical garden arrangements at $ 1,000 and $ 1,500. Now the store also has a clientele that comes in for this unique $ 50 gift.
Katy Sensenig Schilthuis opened her first Mosaic Makers space in the Bishop Arts District in 2018 in a small 300 square foot space with her brand of cards and gifts Fresh Out of Ink and eight other women displaying their products. The concept quickly overtook the space and moved into 2,000 square feet.
âPart of what is behind this is that people want to own their own businesses; they are reconsidering how they make a living after being put on leave, âsaid Schilthuis. âA lot of them started after March 2020 when COVID made them sit down and reassess.â
She has a waiting list of manufacturers who want a spot in her stores, and she believed there was a market for what she was doing in North Dallas as well. Its second location opened this summer at Galleria Dallas.
So far, said Schilthuis, the location of the Galleria has been a positive experience and it has been ârevealingâ to learn more about the different demographics of buyers. People spend more per purchase in the Galleria store, she said. Yet even with the merchandise makers backing the concept, it was a big risk to open a second store, she said.
Year-to-date, U.S. retailers have announced 60% more store openings than last year, to just over 5,000 stores and about the same number of closures, according to the weekly tracking from Coresight Research.
This follows a year in which retailers closed 10,000 stores and opened about 3,500.
And based on a larger retail metric that includes restaurants, for the first time since 2017, more locations are expected to open this year than close, according to research firm IHL Group.
These metrics keep track of companies that operate 50 or more stores, so the numbers don’t reflect some emerging online brands or smaller operations that are also growing, like Ariat. The western boot and lifestyle brand is opening its fifth U.S. store in the Fort Worth Stockyards on December 17.
Austin-based clothing retailer Tyler’s has seven stores and “is looking for new locations across Texas,” said Justin Dermit, director of ecommerce and marketing at Tyler’s. The retailer has just moved from its longtime Lovers Lane location after its lease expired. It is now in Preston Royal Village in the space vacated by Barnes & Noble. The new Dallas store opened on November 20. It’s twice the size and easier to buy, resulting in increased sales, Dermit said.
Companies that follow the local market such as Weitzman and CBRE have indicated that existing space is all the rage in Dallas-Fort Worth. âExisting commercial real estate is at a premium not only in Dallas but statewide,â Weitzman spokesman Ian Pierce said.
Spec’s Fine Wine and Spirits grabbed part of a Best Buy that closed in Irving earlier this year. Plano-based At Home plans to open in February at the former JC Penney at Timber Creek Crossing in Dallas. Big Lots and Sprouts Farmers Market occupies existing retail space in the area, along with several new fitness clubs that have entered the market.
Jeff Kittleson, CBRE’s general manager for retail in Dallas, said that other than some empty mall department stores, good space availability is at an all-time low without new construction.
Retailers braced for higher foot traffic this year, Kittleson said. “There is a sense of pent-up demand from people who enjoy the traditional holiday shopping experience and are excited to shop again in person.”
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