Orange County Chanel Boutique, Other Brands See Increase in Sales


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The Chanel boutique in Orange County, California is doing exceptionally well as the economic recession continues to improve — at least for some.

The Orange County Register reports that the boutique reopened on April 23rd in a new location at the South Coast Plaza. With 2,000 additional square feet and neighbors such as Tiffany and Co. and Nordstrom, the Chanel boutique is expected to do even better than before.

Barbara Cirkva, the president of Chanel’s fashion division, says the company makes a point to update its boutiques every five to seven years. The Orange Beach location was launched in 1990 and underwent its first renovation in 2005. Today, the store occupies a total of 9,000 square feet in one of southern California’s most affluent shopping centers.

The South Coast Plaza features some of the most famous (and expensive) luxury brands in the world. The mall draws in more than 22 million visitors every year and generates an astounding $1.7 billion in sales annually, making each square foot of the travertine floors worth $910 each, according to the local financial firm Green Street Advisors.

The United States imports or mines more than 1.7 billion pounds of travertine every year.

The plaza’s success in recent years seems to reflect a wider trend in the country of spending more on luxury items as the economy continues to improve. Last year, American spending on luxury goods increased by 5% according to consulting firm Bain and Co. (interestingly enough, an offshoot of Bain and Co., Bain Capital, was once run by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.)

The 2.8 million square foot plaza attracts more people to its doors than Disneyland, from teenagers to tourists to the glitzy rich and famous in southern California.

Why the popularity? According to Debra Gunn, the plaza’s executive director of marketing, it is due to the sheer convenience for high-end shoppers.

“The most desirable luxury brands are within steps of each other,” Gunn said.

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