As the end of the first quarter looms, 2014 has brought many changes to Las Vegas retail.
Strip properties have doubled down on their retail offerings to appeal to a Las Vegas visitor who increasingly spends a larger portion of his trip budget shopping, while longtime regional malls such as the Boulevard and Galleria at Sunset have initiated renovation plans.
The Grand Canal Shoppes is adding at least 19 new outlets this year. Recently, it welcomed Buddy V’s Ristorante, and next week, Carlo’s Bakery will open, also owned by Buddy Valastro of TLC’s show “Cake Boss.”
“We’re always so thrilled when we can debut something on the West Coast before Los Angeles,” said Janet LaFevre, senior marketing manager for the Grand Canal Shoppes and the Fashion Show mall.
Soon, the center will welcome Chef Daniel Boloud’s DB Brasserie, Honolulu Cookie Co. and Kate Spade. LaFevre said 2014 is shaping up to be one of the best years ever for leasing activity.
“We’re really in a major flurry of activity right out of the gate for 2014, which is a good indicator for the solid strength of retail in the valley,” LaFevre said.
Forty-five retailers are planning to open or expand in or move to Fashion Show this year. Next month, for example, Nevada’s only Lego store is set to open there; later in 2014, Ted Baker and U.S. Polo Association are coming. LaFevre said sales at both Grand Canal and Fashion Show ended 2013 in the positive.
“We just received January sales, and it appears a little bit soft at the Fashion Show but positive on the Grand Canal side,” LaFevre said.
She attributed a slowdown in January sales at Fashion Show to construction to enable tenant movement. Grand Canal’s January numbers were boosted by strong restaurant sales because of conventions, such as the International CES.
Across the street, Treasure Island’s under-construction three-story retail center has a gross leasable area of 46,000 square feet. The first floor is fully leased to CVS, and there’s no other news yet to announce, a spokeswoman said.
Down the street, The Linq recently opened with hatmaker shop Goorin Bros. and Brazilian sunglass brand Chilli Beans. The center also features venues such as the Brooklyn Bowl and Yard House, and will continue to add tenants during the coming months.
“The local outpouring of support has been overwhelmingly strong,” Goorin Bros. owner Ben Goorin said. “As a community focused retailer, this reinforces that we picked the ideal location.”
Strip-based retail centers are unique in that they cater to a tourist clientele, yet attract a local contingent. In 2013, the average Las Vegas visitor spent $140.90 on shopping during his entire trip, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s 2013 visitor study shows. In 2009, the average shopping spend was $101.97. Those figures include visitors who said they spent nothing on shopping.
Among spending visitors, the average shopping expenditure for an entire trip was $237.41, down from 2012’s $259 but up from 2011’s $211.73. Off Strip, Boulevard Mall announced a $25 million renovation plan that includes building a permanent outdoor farmer’s market adjacent to the mall’s main entrance.
And on Thursday, the Galleria at Sunset broke ground on the second phase of its expansion, a $24.1 million project that consists of up to six new restaurants, a new valet and a 12,000-square-foot outdoor plaza.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.