By Melissa Magsaysay
February 17, 2013
Topshop, the global fashion juggernaut with more than 400 stores operating in 38 countries, has arrived on the West Coast at long last, opening a new store at the Grove in Los Angeles last Thursday.
At 25,000 square feet with nearly 40-foot ceilings, the London-based brand's new flagship boasts the grandiose size and presence common to its other properties, with multiple levels housing the various women's collections under the Topshop umbrella, as well as Topman for menswear.
"Topshop is one of the all-time great retailers on a global platform, and they are really planting a flag here," says Rick Caruso, chief executive of Caruso Affiliated, the developer of the Grove. "There is something unique about Topshop in L.A. that's different than other locations. It's the right energy and the right customer."
The store's opening has been highly anticipated by Southern California shoppers who previously tapped the nearest Topshop location at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, which opened in March 2012, or used the retailer's e-commerce website to purchase clothing, shoes and accessories.
"Twenty-five percent of our online traffic for both Topshop and Topman has come from California," says Philip Green, the chain's owner. "I've felt for a long time that we should have a store [in Los Angeles], because it's a big fashionista city, much like London. There is a lot happening in fashion and entertainment."
L.A's potent celebrity factor is not lost on the retailer, which enlisted Kate Bosworth to select several pieces from the line that will be sold only at the Grove location. Topshop is no beginner when it comes to partnering with the fashion industry's most sought after tastemakers. Supermodel Kate Moss famously designed a line for the brand inspired by her own boho-rocker sense of style, and British designers such as Christopher Kane, Hussein Chalayan, Richard Nicoll and Mary Katrantzou have all created Topshop collections. The brand is also the only "high street" or chain store to show during London Fashion Week.
As a flagship location, Topshop Los Angeles carries the retailer's full range, including Topshop Unique, which is the line shown during London Fashion Week, the Topshop x J.W. Anderson collaboration and the premium limited-edition line called Boutique as well as the brand's trend-driven main line. And because this is L.A., denim and cotton jersey are in full focus — the store has sections solely devoted to Topshop's Leigh Jeans line as well as cotton jersey pieces in vibrant neon and sherbet colors reminiscent of looks common to the area's famous coastal enclaves such as Venice and Malibu.
The West Coast flagship also houses the Topman brand, which includes designer collaborations, the runway collection called Topman Design, Topman Ltd and Topman's Lux collection, a line of detailed formal and casual wear pieces, which will be available in the L.A. store before any other location. A 30-piece capsule collection of luxury sportswear will also be exclusive to the L.A. store.
To help comb through the robust offerings (which include a makeup line and shoe lounge), the Topshop West Coast flagship offers personal shopping and concierge services with private suites and dressing rooms located toward the back of the store and encased by expansive glass walls. "Sir Philip has really reinvented the space," Caruso says. "It's got a really cool, hip feel to it."
The matchup of Topshop and the Grove is no accident, says retail consultant Kwesi Blair, vice president of Robert Burke Associates. "It's a good move for Topshop to open
in L.A., because there is obviously a consumer there who wants access to fresh,
European brands. Opening at the Grove is
a strategic move. They're saying that they don't just want a stand-alone store over
on Robertson Boulevard or Melrose Avenue. They want a varied consumer who might also want to shop at Michael Kors or
Anthropologie or other retailers located
at the Grove."
Or as Green puts it, "In each of the places we are going, we're trying to find the very best locations, not just open another shop. Our principal concept is building flagship stores that have great presence."
Before opening, Topshop tested the California retail market through a partnership with Nordstrom, which carries a portion of the overall collection at some locations. Next up, according to Green, is a possible store in Hong Kong. But this month, the retailer is focusing on ensuring the L.A. opening makes the proper impact on Southern California shoppers and loyal fans of the brand.
Topshop Topman at the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Suite J-10, Los Angeles, (323) 938-1085.
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