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Gaming Guru

Ann Friedman
 

Outdoor shopping site on Las Vegas Strip to debut in December

8 September 2014

Shoppers at Bally's - Las Vegas will no longer have to enter the casino to get their retail fix.

The Grand Bazaar Shops, an outdoor shopping destination filled with 110 stores, four full-service restaurants and 20 grab-and-go culinary concepts, will open in front of the Strip casino in late December.

“There’s a lot of shopping behind the walls of the casinos and I wanted to bring shopping back out to the street so shoppers can walk up and down, window shop and buy, and have a shopping experience unlike any other in Vegas,” developer Larry Siegel said.

Siegel said he’s been closely observing shopping patterns over the years and he wanted to bring interactive and experiential retail to one of the busiest corners on the planet at Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard South.

“We’ll be bringing in unique tenants and we not only want them to sell their merchandise but to interact with consumers in a real time way so shoppers are compelled to hang around,” he said.

The Grand Bazaar Shop’s tenant roster includes familiar names such as Swarovski and Alex and Ani alongside newer ones like Del Sol, which sells T-shirts and accessories that change color in the sun, and Gratiae, an Israeli organic skincare company.

Siegel said forming the tenant mix required him to look overseas for unique and interesting retailers and eateries.

“This is really about looking at examples of bazaars around the world and putting together the best of all of them,” Siegel said. “While those are just places to shop, we wanted interactivity and an experience.”

A RETAIL FIRST

Tony Drockton, founder and creative director for Hammitt, said the Grand Bazaar Shops location will be the first retail store for the handbag company.

“We’re only sold in boutiques and this is an opportunity for us to test the market in an environment that we do so well in,” he said.

According to Drockton, Hammitt’s Las Vegas location will debut collections between 30 and 90 days sooner than the rest of the world as well as feature independent designers and offer special edition collections.

“Las Vegas is considered one of the best retail spots in the country and for us to open up a location there means we made it,” Drockton said.

Also debuting in Las Vegas is Hawaiian furniture company, Martin &MacArthur, which will offer a line of accessories such as jewelry, cell phone cases and handbags made out of Koa wood.

Michael Tam, president and chief executive officer, said aside from accessories, the more than 50-year-old company will also offer shoppers at the Grand Bazaar Shops an interactive touch screen that will allow them to order everything the company produces.

“That opens up the possibility to buy and sell anything we create,” Tam said. “We know the demographic and our target audience, which is the traveler who is looking for something special and handcrafted.”

Tam added that the company also has another store opening at the Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian and the Palazzo in the spring.

“There’s a freshness and interest from visitors in Las Vegas who have never seen anything like what we have,” he said. “Las Vegas is a great opportunity for us.”

‘DISNEYLAND ON STEROIDS’

Pierre Keyser, founder of eye-tech, an eyewear company, said the mix of stores and the outdoor concept attracted him to the Grand Bazaar Shops project.

“I don’t think there is a better location in the U.S. than that corner,” he said. “It’s also an open passage so you can walk right through it, which is a fantastic concept. It’s like Disneyland on steroids.”

Keyser said his store will offer sunglasses and eyeglasses, both with or without prescription lenses, as well as colored lenses.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the reception from the public, because it will tell us a lot about what the future will hold,” he said. “Though a bazaar is an ancient concept, it’s rare to see in retail and they’ve got a special thing cooking there.”

Drywall and lights are currently being installed in the interiors of the stores on the 68,000 square-foot lot. Siegel said he’s aiming to open the Grand Bazaar Shops between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“More than 20 million people walk by this corner every year, so imagine the ability to present and promote your brand to that many people during the course of the year,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of places where that can happen.”