Shop Talk: Caesars Welcomes Shoe Labels… Flip Flop Shops Hits NYC

The Forum Shops Fetes Milestone
As The Forum Shops at Caesars celebrates more than 20 years in operation, branded footwear stores continue to be a major draw for the luxury Las Vegas shopping venue. This year, L.K. Bennett, Sandro, Sergio Rossi, Henri Bendel and Diane von Furstenberg opened doors there. “Through our presence in the iconic Forum Shops we can celebrate our global reach for existing and new customers through their high volume of visitors,” L.K. Bennett CEO Didier Drouet said in a statement. M Missoni also will open a store later this year. At the same time, existing tenants are expanding their footprints in the mall. Michael Kors, Bebe and Tod’s, among others, have recently expanded or remodeled locations.

Flip Flop Shops Joins the Village
Later this month, Flip Flop Shops will debut its first New York store in Greenwich Village through a franchisee agreement. The opening marks the initial step in a plan to launch 18 to 24 stores in the Northeast in the next three to five years. Additional shops are slated to open in Milford, Conn.; Baltimore; Bethesda, Md.; Cherry Hill, N.J., Lancaster, Pa.; and Roanoke, Va. And the company is on the lookout for additional would-be franchisees. On June 21, executives will meet with prospective franchisee owners at the Greenwich Village store. “We are taking an almost surgical approach to our strategic growth plan to make sure we’re growing with the right franchisees in the right markets, and a shop in New York has been long overdue,” Brian Curin, president and co-founder of Flip Flop Shops, said in a statement. “Regardless of the climate or time of the year, flip-flops have tremendous market potential, and no other retailer has capitalized on this segment.”

Tommy Bahama Buys Licensee
Tommy Bahama is going direct to Canada. The company announced on Wednesday it acquired nine stores and a wholesale business from its Canadian licensee, Jaytex Group. The move will allow Tommy Bahama to develop a closer relationship with its Canadian customers, as well as offer them a broader product assortment. “One of the benefits of operating in Canada directly will be our ability to establish consistent merchandising, marketing and distribution strategies between the U.S. and Canadian operations,” Doug Wood, president and COO of Tommy Bahama, said in a statement. “This will give our Canadian guests access to a broader product assortment, direct marketing offers and a closer relationship with the brand.” The nine stores include five in Ontario, two in Alberta and two in British Columbia.

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