* Midnight leather handles
* Top zippered closure with two midnight leather pull tabs
* Detachable midnight leather shoulder strap (approx. 17" drop)
* Cream colored polka dot fabric interior
* Interior zippered pocket with midnight leather pull tab
* Two interior ...
Americana at Brand is a hit with visitors Visitors to Glendale's Americana at Brand will notice some changes at the glitzy open air center.
There's free parking Mondays through Thursdays. Some restaurants offer kids eat free lunch specials. Signs tout a weekly European style farmers market, which begins today, and huge banners advertise free rent in the center's luxury apartments. And in a sight that has become familiar at malls around the katespadr nation, displays at many of the Americana's upscale shops promote the latest markdowns, such as one outside the Peter Alexander boutique that reads: "Beat the recession. Everything is almost free!" Combining retail, dining and entertainment with condos and apartments, the Americana is shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso's first residential mixed use property. He opened the 15.5 acre, $400 million lifestyle center a year ago at a dicey time for the economy, and some wondered whether the recession would hamper his most ambitious development yet. Despite the signs, the Americana, which opened almost a year ago, is clearly a hit. Like the Grove, Caruso's upscale shopping mecca in Los Angeles, the Americana is katespade us often packed, with people lounging on the meticulously landscaped lawn and snapping photos in front of a Las Vegas style fountain. In the Americana's short existence, Caruso said, 1.5 million cars have parked in the garage and about 16 million people have checked out the property or about 77 visits for each of its hometown's roughly 207,000 residents. The center's Cheesecake Factory and Pinkberry rank among those chains' top performers, the companies' representatives said. Attendance at the movie complex has "exceeded expectations" and continues to grow, said Amy Wood, vice president of marketing for kate spade tote canada Pacific Theatres. Said Caruso, "I couldn't be happier with the success of the center." The free parking and farmers market represent extra service for customers, not a reaction to problems, he said. How the center's popularity is playing out in its retail stores is less clear. Several store employees said business had been sluggish amid the economic downturn and worried that the center's other offerings were detracting from the shopping experience. "It's kind of like Disneyland on kate spade outlet locations canada the weekends," said Jennifer Fowler, assistant manager at women's boutique Free People. "People come here to ride the trolley and see the fountain and maybe to eat, but not to shop." At high end shoe retailer Stuart Weitzman, where a pair of heels can run hundreds of dollars, the store has offered regular discounts on shoes and handbags to try to drive sales, sales associate Christina Martirossian said. "Every day is different. One day we'll be super busy, but most of the time it's slow," she said. "It hasn't been that great hopefully it'll pick up." With shoppers scrimping, the Americana is facing a shifting consumer mind set that is disproportionately hurting high end retailers. Compared with the mid priced stores found at malls such as the Glendale Galleria across the street, the Americana's shops Tiffany Co., Kate Spade and Juicy Couture among them tend to be more expensive. "When we went there, the retail experience seemed to be a little slow catching on," said Richard Giss, a partner in Deloitte Touche's consumer business division in Los Angeles. "I don't think the stores per se are overpriced, but the part of the retail spectrum that they're in is doing worse than other parts of the market. People don't feel good right now about conspicuous consumption." Americana regular Sarah Canahuati, 37, is one of them. The stay at home mom from Studio City goes to the shopping center weekly for live music and a playground jaunt with her 3 year old son, Ethan. But beyond stopping for lunch at one of several restaurants that offer kids eat free deals on Tuesdays, Canahuati rarely buys more than a book from Barnes Noble. "We're not doing the Americana any favors," she said. "They're all high end stores, which is fantastic when times are good, but not when everybody's shopping at Target." Caruso isn't worried. The developer, a former Los Angeles Police Commission president who has built a fortune from his real estate properties, says it's all part of designing a center that is more than "just a shopping destination." "If you want to come on our property and do nothing but read the newspaper or go for a walk or hang out with your kids, great," he said.
"Because if you do that, then I know when you want to shop or you want to dine or you want to see a movie, you're going to come back and you're going to do that with us." Many store executives said even though sales weren't booming, they saw a lot of promise in the Americana. "I'd be lying to you if I said business was phenomenal across our company or for any particular location," said Michael Celestino, executive vice president of stores for Barneys New York, which has a Co Op store at the Americana.
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