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Top L.A. brand anchors SLS Las Vegas

22 August 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Deciding on SLS Las Vegas Hotel Casino’s retail components was a “no-brainer,” said Sam Bakhshandehpour, president of the hotel-casino’s management company, Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group, LLC.

“We chose Fred Segal as the exclusive retailer at SLS Las Vegas as a strategic move,” Bakhshandehpour said. “We wanted to do something that went against the grain compared to what other casino operators have done on the Strip. We also wanted a like-minded retailer for our demographic and they’re an iconic L.A. brand.”

Bakhshandehpour said retail is an important part of completing the overall SLS Las Vegas experience.

“There’s big-mall retail, which is traditionally done in Vegas, however, it’s something that is replicable in people’s hometowns,” he said. “Fred Segal provides a unique experience for a narrow demographic.”

Fred Segal, which was created in 1961 in Los Angeles, has locations in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Calif.

Fred Segal CEO Paul Blum said the store will operate seven retail concepts throughout SLS including He, a men’s sportswear and accessories store; She, women’s sportswear and accessories; Jeans, which will offer both men’s and women’s denim; Play, intimate apparel; Goods, which will feature housewares and novelty items; Jewels; and Shoes.

Women’s clothing brands will include Torn by Ronny Kobo, Zimmerman and Jonathan Simkhai, along with Zachary Prell, Billy Reid and Todd Snyder for men. Bamford Watch Co., Gasia and Shaun Leane will be among the designers featured at Jewels.

“Every two to three months there’s a changeover of product assortment at Fred Segal,” Blum said. “Our brands are constantly changing as our concept revolves around a flow of a lot of different brands.”

The retail space at Fred Segal inside SLS Las Vegas encompasses 10,000 square feet; each store covers 1,200 to 2,000 square feet, Blum said.

“Customers will stroll through the casino, pool, restaurants and clubs and our stores are interspersed throughout,” he said. “What’s interesting about our retail concept is that shopping will be spread throughout, not the usual formula where retail is in one place.”

Fred Segal’s move into Las Vegas will be the first store outside of California, said Blum, who added that the company is anticipating the opening of its first international location in Tokyo next spring, which will feature a mix of retail, including a spa and cafe.

“It’s very exciting, and our plan is to open up other locations outside of California in the future,” he said. “Las Vegas is a great place to start as we have access to international clientele and it’s an innovative and different setup. We didn’t want to open regular stores, we wanted an interesting concept and I’m really excited about it.”

Blum added he’s looking forward to spreading the L.A. shopping experience to other parts of the world.

“We’re looking forward to giving people that L.A. and Fred Segal attitude in a different place and the new energy that will be created because of it,” he said. “This is just the first step, but it’s a really exciting step.”

Bakhshandehpour is cautiously optimistic that he can take retail to another level when the hotel opens at midnight.

“Given our success in South Beach and in Vegas with Hyde nightclub at the Bellagio, we’re cautiously optimistic for brands like ours to come to town with a different lens on how we view customer experience and bring content that has never been seen before in Vegas,” he said.

“My hope, in the most humble manner possible, is to be the brand that came in to town and led the charge for the next evolution of Las Vegas and that we set the tone for what the next decades will be like.”

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