Winding through the 16,000-sq.-ft. shop-in-shop that is the Atrium at The Venetian Las Vegas Resort & Casino is a bit like taking a trip down the yellow brick road of luxury retail. Start at Bally to covet the brand’s flirty lip-print shoe. Mere steps away, admire the Bali-inspired silver artistry of John Hardy. Move a few more feet to delight in the latest nail lacquers from Tom Ford, stop at a small island for a glimpse of Prada’s newest sunglasses, or be drawn across the aisle by the enchanting fragrances of Jo Malone. We definitely aren’t in a familiar retail environment anymore.
Hudson Group, which is known primarily for newsstands and specialty shops in airports, unveiled this new multivendor retail concept in October, dramatically shifting how consumers shop when they are traveling.
“We have taken the essence of what a duty-free store is out of the travel corridor and put it into the retail environment,” explained Ellen Bramble, regional vice president of hotel and specialty retail at Hudson Group. “We want to make sure that the things you saw in the travel corridor, when you were running through the airport, you can find again when you get to your destination.”
Hudson Group’s travel origins helped dictate the Atrium’s partners as well as exclusivity of product. “We have a lot of relationships with the travel industry because that’s our roots,” said Bramble about the Atrium’s partners, which include brands producing fine jewelry and watches, fashion accessories, beauty and fragrance, electronics and spirits.
Coming from the travel sector has other advantages beyond ready-made partnerships. “Travel has a big enough volume that our partners will create exclusivities just for travel,” Bramble said. “So, for instance, the things you would find at MAC at Fashion Show mall or upstairs at Burberry are different than what you would find here.”
The innovative retail concept has benefits for Hudson’s partners, too. “It is certainly worth exploring this approach to retail,” said Mimmo Mariottini, VP of global sales and CEO of the Americas for Porsche Design, which has a shop-in-shop in the Atrium. “And we feel it’s necessary not only in our approach to design, but in relation to all aspects of the business.”
Consumers will also find it to be worth exploring with uber-exclusive items such as Graycli Cigars from the Bahamas (available in only one other U.S. location, Nashville International Airport) or the limited-release Absolut Elyx in the Atrium’s well-stocked Liquor Library.
Aspirational shopping is another appeal of the Atrium. “We like to have the little unexpected that is still attainable,” noted Bramble. “If you aspire to own a 911, you can get the Porsche driving loafers because when you are in your traditional mode of transportation and wearing those shoes, it brings that brand image into your life.”
That, and you also get to leave Las Vegas with your very own ruby slippers.