If hearing Carrie Bradshaw say “Hello, lover,” to a pair of shoes on that bright-pink “Sex and the City” slot machine isn’t enough, Vegas-goers have a chance to get the real experience. Sarah Jessica Parker is making her way West, and she’s here to stay — well, at least her shoes are.
The actress is gracing the Strip with her second SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker stand-alone store on Aug. 13 at the Bellagio Resort & Casino. “It’s sort of like a wonderland. Vegas is like an alternate universe,” Parker told Footwear News. “The rest of the world sits outside, and it has this dialed-up version of reality, which makes it nice for us, in terms of shoes, because we can lean more toward that fantasy and decadence.”
In partnership with MGM, the boutique is located in the hotel’s Promenade retail corridor and comes on the heels of the debut of her first store launch at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland late last year.
Business partner George Malkemus said, “It’s been a wonderful way to test the market with our own boutiques and curate it the way Sarah Jessica really wants it to be.”
While retail partners including Bloomingdale’s continue to bring positive sales growth and visibility for the brand, having its own physical location provides more breadth, according to Parker.
“We are creating an environment that we hope develops a customer and tells her a little more about who we are,” the producer and designer said. “A stand- alone store allows you to give more identity to your brand. And it can even help drive traffic to other retailers so when people go home, they will just know more about us.”
With two shops in three years since the company’s inception, The SJP Collection is growing at a fast pace — quicker than Parker may have imagined.
“We were not in any position to make these kinds of investments, but MGM was willing to take on those financial responsibilities that we felt were too soon for us,” she said. “The generosity of MGM has allowed us to do so, and it’s been such a good testing ground for us and the partnership. They really take the time to understand the brand.”
Malkemus also noted potential expansion in other MGM properties, including China’s MGM Macau and Cotai locations.
Both remain optimistic on the Vegas store’s success, highlighting its vast inventory as a draw as well as its location and see-now, buy-now format.
“Our strength is offering her lots of choices but remaining within the brand. We’ll be giving them a lot of color, fabrications and ornamentations,” Parker said. “We have beautiful flats that are just as much as a party as the 100-millimeter heel. We have 70-, 90-, 100-millimeter [heel heights], and we have our Meteor sneaker now.”
Malkemus added that there will be an exclusive “Bellagio Blue” colorway offered in the Vegas spot, and he noted that the Meteor sneaker will have a strong presence. “We certainly know that traffic is [strong],” he said. “[Las Vegas] is not only catering to the high-heel, sexy customer that we always want but also the shoppers who walk along the Strip.”
Courtesy of brand
For Parker, remaining thoughtful, smart and conservative is key for brand growth.
“The biggest thing for us to pay attention to is every choice. Growth and opportunity is very seductive, but you have to be thoughtful, especially in this environment where retail is struggling, and we are very mindful of that,” she said.
Parker added that online sales have made a significant impact, as well as the brand’s international business, and now brick-and-mortar is added to the portfolio.
“We are just going to offer up a big bowl of candy, and hope that’s the right direction,” she said regarding the Vegas location. “We want to feel like we are offering an extraordinary experience.”
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