Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Upper State Street Update: Luis Vuitton Moves In, La Cumbre Management Says We Need 'Shopping Experience'

The Daily Sound reports that Luis Vuitton has moved in to La Cumbre Plaza.
Alice Love, senior marketing manager for La Cumbre Plaza, said the addition of Louis Vuitton is one more example of how the plaza provides a shopping experience that can’t be found anywhere on the South Coast.

“What we’re doing is concentrating on a compelling mix, which is first to market stores,” Love said, adding that first-to-market means stores like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton can’t be found nearby.

I'm not so sure that the La Cumbre Plaza makeover into some kind of mini-Rodeo Drive is compelling or very useful to the typical Santa Barbaran. This kind of 'shopping experience' perhaps can't be found here because it is the wrong change for a shopping center so far from Montecito or even the downtown area. My first-to-market prediction is that these stores will be loss leaders as the Santa Barbara address may mean to them that they can lose money and they will be forced to close within a few years.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Shop seedy downtown? said...

Sales tax is important local revenue. There are plenty of very wealthy people in this area and it is great we get to keep some of their sales tax revenue.

The unfortunate aspect is learning wealthy shoppers shun downtown Santa Barbara because it has become so seedy and unpleasant. The shopping environment at La Cumbre is more secure and because it is private property they can keep the bums away.

10/19/2008 10:42 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Just like Osgood, no one told LV the party's over. Conspicuous, gaudy consumption needs to stay in OC.

The one thing I've always admired about SB is that the money stayed low key behind the 6 foot hedges...



Uh, sa1?

Yo! wuz up general?

Umm...sa1, I've been reading your posts and you've inspired me to come out of the closet.


You know, all those insightfull messages about that Palin ditz. Just like you said, McCain screwed the pooch on that chick pick. I'm gonna go on MTP to give the big O my endorsement.

Well it's about time CP, have I ever steered you wrong?

Heck no sa1, that end around sweep in Kuwait was brilliant. I should have listened to you about all that WMD BS that butthead Texan was spewin'

That's right General, now you go out there and make me proud...

Sir, Yes Sir!


10/19/2008 11:56 AM  
Anonymous SB reader said...

Well, you know, Whole Foods is going in a couple of blocks away and at Hope and State there's a new high end condo complex coming along. However, I agree with you: unless things change substantially, those stores won't last that long. Cartier's in La Cumbre Plaza... it's laughable.

10/19/2008 7:47 PM  
Blogger j said...

What else is in store for La Cumbre? I've heard scuttle-butt from mall employees that Sears will soon depart if favor of a "high end" store, maybe a Bloomingdale's.

Of course there is a lot of money locally, but are there enough individuals with $$$ in SB to support an entire Rodeo Drive-ish mall? Even the snooty stores in the OC are usually associated with mega-malls that include stores for peons and are nearby big box discount stores. And to the south and in the bay area, very pricey stores are surrounded by literally millions of people, some of whom are either rich enough or dumb enough to eat regularly at a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Hard to think that a significant number of wealthy tourists would find their way past downtown find to La Cumbre from the Biltmore or SY Ranch. That begs the question of how many people will shop at an expensive, pretentious La Cumbre and how much money each shopper might spend.

Anyone know how Saks downtown does? At any given time there seem to be a dozen or so shoppers in Saks... do they each spend a ton or is the place losing money for the chain?

10/20/2008 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

I'm with you, Sara. We were there Saturday and I found the place surreal. Tiffany? Coach? Louis Vuitton? Does LCP's management really think they're gonna turn a tired, middle-class mall into some sort of exclusive shopping destination for the uber-wealthy? With a crummy Sears anchoring one end?

All they're doing is ensuring I have no reason to go back.

10/20/2008 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Alice Love is correct. You can't find the La Cumbre shopping experience anywhere else on the South Coast. But you can find it all over Los Angeles. Santa Barbara is losing/has lost its uniqueness. How sad that all the small boutiques have closed because they can't afford to be here.

If I come home with a Louis Vuitton purse, I would have to use the paddles to shock my husband back to life.

10/20/2008 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Stores left and so did shoppers said...

If La Cumbre Plaza hopes to attract more high-end shoppers, presumably many of them tourists, then what about lodging?

There isn't any high-end lodging at this end of town, and I doubt tourists will want to drive from the waterfront to get here.

10/20/2008 12:32 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Good point -- there's just a the moderately price hotel across the street although I am a fan of The Twig Room.

10/20/2008 6:27 PM  
Anonymous patrick said...

The only reasons that I ever go to La Cumbre are to buy tools at Sears or to buy running shoes at Outfooters. I wish the J. Crew store carried men's clothes. I miss Eddie Bauer. I don't care for any of the new restaurants or new stores.

10/21/2008 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Money Bags said...

Saks came to town because their clients were having to go to Beverley Hills. Most of Saks shopping goes on behind closed doors so it is said even if there are only two cars in the parking lot, they can be having a very good day.

Though fewer high end shoppers find State Street very pleasant. Sears is like a morgue everytime you go in there. They keep a huge inventory for very few shoppers. I am surprised they have lasted as long as they have. Hate to see them go but their time has passed in this town.

It is okay for La Cumbre to go very upscale. The customers are there and they will like the centralized mall experience, closed off from the grubbiness of State Street.

10/21/2008 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Eat The Rich said...

It is okay for La Cumbre to go very upscale. The customers are there and they will like the centralized mall experience, closed off from the grubbiness of State Street.

And soon they'll have a whole upscale group from Naples to help build that "exclusive" clientele.

Describing State Street as "grubby" is just about the most ridiculous thing I've read in a long, long time. You people have no clue what "grubbiness" is, but it might help you build some character to find out.

But that's for the "lesser 95%", right?

10/22/2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

ummm, maybe the mall owners see the future....Monaco and Monte Carlo are the future of SB, like it or not. As long as real estate hovers near the million dollar mark even in the depths of a recession,imagine what happens when things turn around, the living here now baby boomers want to retire and turn their nest, a fifty plus year old post war 1,500 sf or less house on a 6,ooo sf lot into a nest egg and go live somewhere where a nice 2500 sf house on a few acres costs less than half of what they can sell for. i don't like it any more than the rest of you, but its the reality we face. there is still gold to be found in this burg and its environs, but i'm not telling where.

10/23/2008 7:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home