Why is Vegas becoming a luxury fashion hotspot?

From Fendi to Diptyque, Sin City has attracted a number of luxury brands to the region over the past few years.
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· 3 min read

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless it’s a luxury shopping splurge. The city has seen several luxury store openings over the past few years that, in true Las Vegas fashion, are only getting bigger and flashier by the moment.

Diptyque, for instance, last month became the latest luxury brand to announce its plans to expand its presence in the city, joining the ranks of Gucci and Fendi, both of which have opened new stores in the region this year.

So just what makes Sin City a growing luxury hotspot? Basically, a lot of travelers with a lot of money to spend. “If you’re there on business for a conference, it’s a great place to say, ‘Okay, well let me just do a little bit of luxury shopping,’ and if you’re there on holiday, to enjoy the shows and [gamble], you are in a different world,” Marie Driscoll, managing director of luxury and fashion at Coresight Research, told Retail Brew. “The sun never sets, the restaurants and gambling tables are open all night long. You walk out feeling like, ‘Where can I spend my winnings? Or maybe I better spend something before I lose more money.’”

Suffice to say most of the big spenders that the luxury brands are hoping to target are in fact, tourists as opposed to locals. Per Carly Shapiro, manager at Alvarez & Marsal consumer retail group, the shoppers represent a mix of both national and international tourists who are “looking to make money and spend money.”

Driscoll echoed that sentiment, adding that “there’s a totally different attitude about money when [people] travel,” she said. “You’ve saved up for a year to go on a one- or two- or three-week vacation, you intend to pamper yourself and have fun, it’s been budgeted for, so there’s the sense of, ‘Let me have fun…let me splurge.’”

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It’s also why retailers are making sure the trip is worth the consumer’s while by turning their stores into an experience. Diptyque’s soon-to-open Caesars Palace location, for example, is being pegged as a “concept store,” complete with local touches and will follow in the footsteps of its other recently opened locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Washington, DC, which feature regional artwork and special in-store experiences.

Likewise, Fendi’s new stores at the Wynn and Crystals resorts feature vast VIP spaces as well as touches of Roman architecture and art.

Go big or go to Vegas: Driscoll said that Vegas is poised to be a fertile ground for testing more experiential retail since everything is taken to “extremes.” “This is where we see people eating swords, right?” she said.

Shapiro agreed, adding that stores were in constant competition with the glitz and glamour of the casinos and shows and needed “something catchy and exciting to attract customers,” she said. “Concept stores provide brands the opportunity to have customized, exclusive products that incentivizes tourists to purchase now, rather than wait until they return home.”

And ultimately, experts have one big piece of advice for luxury retailers hoping to join the fun. “Go overboard,” Driscoll said. “Everything is so oversized in Vegas; bigger than life in Vegas. So it’s an opportunity; you don’t want to go there quietly.”—JS

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