News To Use
Top Specialty Stores in the U.S.
Here is my updated list of best shops in the US. I dropped Kitson, Rag & Bone, and Yippee Yi Yo from last year’s list. Kitson was once great but their Malibu and 3rd. Street Promenade in LA are more like tourist shops and not the same as their flagship on Robertson. Rag & Bone has lost its unique character with expansion and Yippee Yi Yo doesn’t cut it. Exciting new additions include Creel and Gow, a high end home gift store up New York’s upper east side and the best kid’s store in the world, Oh! Baby. I added HD Buttercup as a replacement to Jayson Home, but Jayson is still really good. Bi Rite Market from San Francisco joins the list but Oakville Grocery Co. could share a spot.
  • Evolution, New York
  • Peppercorn, Boulder
  • Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor
  • Creel and Gow, NYC
  • Elliott Bay Book Co, Seattle
  • Fishs Eddy, New York
  • HD Buttercup, West LA
  • Oh! Baby, Edina, MN
  • John Derian Home, New York
  • Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco
I have outlined below some of the best shops in the world. I am currently traveling and looking at my list closely with an eye for new additions. I replaced Eataly’s Turin version with the New York store. But Eataly in Dubai is so chain-like.

Not sure about Late Night Chamelon, London – looking for a replacement. Some major new finds to be added soon.

  • Malmaison, London
  • Moss, New York
  • Harcoza, Tokyo
  • Late Night Chameleon, London
  • Eataly, New York
  • Dover Street Market, London
  • Lairesse Apotheek, Amsterdam
  • Viktor & Rolf, Milan
  • Comme des Garcons, New York
Top Specialty Stores in the World
Highest Volume Restaurants in the U.S.
Gross sales volumes in high end restaurants have been down in recent years and owners are not as quick to tout their results. We think Tao has peaked and lost business to some new kids on the strip. We have moved Carmines into the second place with gross sales of $28,000,000, which is still a long ways from Tao with reported gross sales a little less than $60,000,000. But 60% of those sales coming from the restaurant, so keep apples to apples we are reporting their sales of $36,000,000.

Bob Chinn’s seats 2,500 patrons a day; Joe Crab, seats 1,300 a day in season, and Tao averages 1,000 a day with an average check of $70 per person.

  1. Tao, Las Vegas ($36,000,000)
  2. Carmines, New York ($28,000,000)
  3. Smith & Wollensky, New York ($24,000,000)
  4. Old Ebett Grill, Washington DC ($24,500,000)
  5. Bob Chinn’s Crab House, Wheeling, IL ($24,000,000)
  6. Joe Crab, Miami ($23,000,000)
  7. Grill on Main, Martha’s Vineyard, MA ($23,500,000)
  8. Sparks Steakhouse, New York ($23,000,000)
  9. Buddakan, New York ($22,600,000)
  10. Tony’s Restaurant, Houston ($21,000,000)
This is not an easy list to produce because the data is controlled by the mall owners. Many use different criteria for defining their sales per square foot. Some eliminate poor performing stores, anchors, and whole categories and others manipulate square footage and seasonal variances to pump up their numbers.

Malls that benefit from the publicity of their sales productivity should submit their numbers to a third party for verification. Every space in the mall should be listed and tied to public records of GLA. Annual sales for the same period should be listed for every space. That said, 2014’s list of top producing malls are listed below with one caveat. The listed sales per square foot are values representative of their rank, but should not be taken as absolute sales per sq. ft. for the reasons mentioned.

Most Productive Malls in the U.S.*
  1. Bal Harbour Shops – Miami, FL ($2,600)
  2. Forum Shops – Las Vegas, NV ($1,825)
  3. The Grove – Los Angeles, CA ($1,400)
  4. Alo Moana – Honolulu, HI ($1,350)
  5. South Coast Plaza – Orange County, CA ($1,250)
  6. Aventura Mall – North Miami, FL ($1,225)
  7. Mall at Millenia – Orlando, FL ($1,200)
  8. Mall at Short Hills – Short Hills, NJ ($1,100)
  9. North Park Mall – Dallas, TX ($950)
  10. Fashion Valley Mall – San Diego,CA ($850)
  11. Garden State Plaza – Paramus, NJ ($850)


*Mall owners closely guard the sales of the properties unless it facilitates leasing space at higher rates. Since rent is a factor of sales the most productive malls in the U.S. selectively release sales but it is often apples to oranges. Some developers exclude sales of department stores and other large tenants such as cinemas that tend to bring down the center average. The following list includes an estimate of average sales per square foot excluding department stores and cinemas. Please share with us additions and corrections.
Highest Producing Retailers
Apple remains the undisputed king of retail sales per square foot in the US but dilution of sales with new store and store expansions and the lack of a new block buster product has resulted in a significant drop in sales per square foot to $4,551. Michael Kors has moved up the list but watch for over-saturation and loss of uniqueness to drop this star to the falling category. Lululemon’s popularity has grown a little thin as they work to correct quality control issues, while others are crowding the space with a fashion approach.

Where are the next darlings of the mall? Perhaps we are entering an era where physical sales per square foot will never achieve the previously levels of productivity as internet sales take a greater share of the market.

Highest Producing Retailers (Sales Per Square Foot) in the U.S.
Louis Vuitton
Michael Kors
True Religion
Vera Bradley
Banana Republic
Ralph Lauren
Whole Foods


News Item – Bye Bye House of Blues

(Wednesday, August 6, 2014) The LA Times Reported that House of Blues on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood will be demolished in 2015 to make way for a boutique hotel, condos, and a live music venue. Live Nation, owner and operator of House of Blues is looking for a new location.


News Item – Damien Hirst’s Ifracombe Eco-Village

(Thursday, August 7, 2014) Artist, Damien Hirst’s sustainable eco-village has received approval to move forward with development of 750 homes, shops, and offices. The development is in the seaside village of Ifracombe in Devon, UK.

News Item – New NetBase model projects future retail successes

(Thursday, August 7, 2014) The New York Times reported on the work of NetBase which scans the entire world of social media sites to determine mentions and likes of leading brands. NetBase uses an algorithm systems that values words such as love,like, and hate to determine consumer trends which they believe is a predictor of future buying. Stock market investors are watching carefully.