Can you believe it’s only been less than two years since City Target first opened in Downtown LA back in late 2012? Before that, the idea of having any major retailer downtown was still considered a pipe dream. Sure it was “just another” Target, but to downtown residents, it meant a lot more to us. It meant we could finally buy an iPad or a vacuum cleaner without having to leave downtown for simple basic stuff. And who could’ve imagined that a year later, retailers that would usually only open on the Westside (like on Robertson, Melrose, or Beverly) were actually opening stores downtown (i.e., Acne Studios, Aesop, OAK NYC, etc.) creating the beginnings of a bona fide new shopping district. Thank goodness the retail momentum continues to grow stronger. In fact, two of the most recent exciting additions to Downtown LA—H&M and Zara, both the largest flagship stores in SoCal, which opened 3 months and 2 months ago respectively—are already doing better than anyone could’ve expected.
According to store associates I spoke to at each store (H&M and Zara), both stores are already top performers in sales within their respective chains, both locally and nationally.
Zara’s Downtown LA sales figures are already a solid #3 in the LA/OC market with only The Grove (#2) and South Coast Plaza (#1) ahead during the last monthly update. In fact, our Zara is apparently in the coveted top 10 in the United States coming in close to San Francisco’s Union Square location. The top four are New York Fifth Avenue, New York Soho, Miami, and Chicago’s Michigan Avenue for reference. This is only two months after opening. Imagine when more people come downtown to shop when more stores open. That equals higher sales figures.
And what about H&M with its massive 32,000 square foot flagship store? Speaking to several store associates over a period of a week, I learned that H&M’s Downtown LA location is also doing “very well.” In fact, within the Los Angeles market, our H&M’s weekly sales figure (from the last two weeks) was also in the top performers category behind only a few locations like the Beverly Center and Glendale’s Americana. Again, H&M has only been open here for three months and it’s already a top performing store. Imagine when the Wilshire Grand Tower and The Bloc are completed in a few years nearby adding some incredible shopping synergy to the immediate area, drawing more people, and boosting even higher sales figures.
And how do higher sales figures affect the future of Downtown LA? Simple. Other retailers are watching, and within the industry, people definitely talk. If huge retailers like Zara and H&M are doing very well in Downtown LA, you can expect even more retailers to join in. And that’s the way this whole “magic” of revitalization happens: the pioneers do well, pave the way, and others follow. Then the critical mass hits and synergy takes hold and then you have yourself a completely revitalized urban city center. Presto!
In the next few years, expect to see a whole slew of new retailers open downtown that will finally bring shoppers back to the city instead of being relegated to suburban shopping malls or fake “main streets” that have been an embarrassment to Los Angeles for far too long.