Pepper, an online intimacy and lifestyle retailer, is getting physical. The Henderson-based company unveiled its first brick-and-mortar store during Thursday’s grand opening of Resorts World.
Pepper co-founder Lincoln Spoor said opening a store on the Las Vegas Strip was a 10-year-old dream but that the company needed the right partner to make it happen.
“To be on the Strip was absolutely a requirement, but then where do you go?” said Spoor, whose shop will be the first luxury intimate store on the Strip. “That’s why Resorts World fits so well — the positioning of the brand and where they want to go with it matches perfectly with Pepper.”
Resorts World set out to create a 70,000-square-foot retail center filled with brands not found at neighboring properties, according to Vice President of Retail Matt Pinal.
The two-story shopping center is home to newcomers like Pepper and returning retailer Fred Segal. Experts say the curated mix will be key to differentiating itself from retail destinations like Fashion Show mall and the luxury boutiques inside Wynn Las Vegas.
“When creating a new retail complex on the Strip, the merchandising of these properties becomes an art form,” said Michael Parks of CBRE. “You want to identify new brands and concepts that aren’t currently in the market but are brands and concepts that will be attractive and sought after by the consumer.”
The next wave of retail experiences is catering to what the National Retail Federation calls the “citizen shopper,” or a consumer wanting a retail store to be more than simply a place for shopping.
Pinal said Resorts World’s interpretation of the new type of consumer is one who wants interactive spaces, which is where the retail industry is heading.
He said it’s why the property carved out a 2,500-square-foot space dedicated to pop-up shops and events. The space can be customized and features a 1,200-square-foot balcony overlooking the Strip.
“It’s specifically for vendors that we want to program that may tie in to who is either at the hotel or maybe in the city,” he said.
One of the first pop-up shops announced this month is Kardashian Kloset, the online resale site of items from the Kardashian-Jenner clan. It will be the first brick-and-mortar store for the e-tailer and will include exclusive merchandise.
There are also plans to create events and other brand activations throughout the property.
Pinal said pop-ups allow Resorts World to offer something new for visitors and locals.
“We didn’t want to build a traditional mall setting. Plus, where we sit on the corner with Wynn and Encore and Fashion Show, you kind of repeat vendors within there,” he said.
Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Kodali said pop-ups also benefit retailers.
“There are lots of small sellers looking to gain awareness with tourists, which is the goal of being anywhere on or around the Strip,” Kodali said. “I think consumers are open to anything that looks interesting whether it’s a pop-up store or something else.”
Other retailers opening at Resorts World include Judith Leiber, Herve Leger, Twila True Fine Jewelry and Watches, Sneaker Garden, Clivei Beauty Salon, Dr. Refresh, Sugarfina, Nectar Bath Treats, Corso, Aubi & Ramsa, O bag, Black Clover and six sundry shops.
But Pinal said shoppers can expect more surprise announcements in the coming months.
Parks of CBRE said it’s a huge opportunity for retailers to open on the Strip, citing the city’s pre-pandemic visitor count of 42 million.
“Shopping has become an important component of the Las Vegas experience,” he said. “It fits together with the dining and entertainment — they’re all kind of symbiotic and work together.”
Fred Segal owner and CEO Jeff Lotman said the tourist-heavy street will certainly mean success for its men’s and women’s shop.
“I’m a Vegas guy. I go all the time … but these places are getting kind of dated,” Lotman said. “They’ve been around for a while, so I think it’s incredible to have the newness (of Resorts World) and excitement and the talent they’ve booked. The fact that we are the fashion store there, I think we’re going to kill it.”
Lotman said the retailer will have two 5,000-square-foot stores located across from each other. There are also plans to host special events and offer exclusive merchandise and items like bridal gift baskets.
Spoor said his own shop will unveil exclusive merchandise, including sex tech not found elsewhere as well as a new line this fall.
Pepper’s 6,000-square-foot store is the largest retail shop at Resorts World with a 100-foot-long storefront that will feature a window display designed by Pop Up Mob.
Spoor said Pepper was given the freedom by Resorts World to design and develop the customer’s experience. He added the store itself has been designed as an experiential space, something Pinal has been pushing for throughout the retail center.
“You walk in and you feel the five senses,” Spoor said. “We have our own scents that will be spritzed throughout the store. There’s a home goods side with candles, diffusers, lotions, lingerie and then we have a theater screen, which we’re using in an archway, and on the other side of that is the spicy side.”
For more coverage of Resorts World visit lvrj.com/resortsworld.