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Resorts World Las Vegas going ‘boutique’ in retail lineup

Updated April 12, 2021 - 7:25 pm

When Resorts World Las Vegas announced Fred Segal as its first retail partner, I fished through my closet for a pair of Fred Segal shirts.

I bought one in the fall of 2014, the other in the summer of 2015, both at SLS Las Vegas.

SLS Las Vegas is no more, of course, changing ownership and finally returning as Sahara Las Vegas. Fred Segal bugged out of SLS in August 2016. But those shirts have survived. The moral is, your resort should outlive the clothes sold by your major shopping partner.

Having established its first partner, Resorts World is set up for the long term with a series of familiar retail companies in a fluid, pop-up, boutique-style strategy. The resort is holding to its official “summer” target for opening (despite murmurs it is planning a late-June launch), and has announced such brands as Judith Leiber and Hervé Léger leading its retail partnerships.

Shopping is plentiful in the Resorts World radius, with Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo and Fashion Show mall all in the neighborhood. Resorts World President Scott Sibella says the challenge is to be different, and use the resort’s’ shopping as more a discovery than a destination experience.

“We’re surrounded by luxury properties, a lot of attractions and a lot of shopping,” Sibella said in a phone chat Friday. “We love to be a part of it, but we never wanted to go head-to-head with the mall, and some of our competitors that have great shopping venues in their property.”

Though the resort is a $4.3 billion project, shopping is not created as a massive experience. Instead, the veteran hospitality executive says, “We want to do it differently from Day One, so there are not a lot of big stores, but a lot of boutiques, a lot of fun stores, a lot of stores that have different personalities.”

The company emphasizes the result is a blend of luxury and “experiential” outposts.

The Resorts World retail lineup, with descriptions pulled from the news release announcing the partners:

— Judith Leiber is a name synonymous with elegance, style and sophistication. For more than fifty years, Judith Leiber’s incomparable evening bags and crystal minaudières have been recognized worldwide for attention to detail, hand craftsmanship and designs.

Hervé Léger is an iconic luxury brand, ubiquitously known for its unforgettable bandage dresses that celebrate the female form.

— Pepper, offering wellness solutions through lifestyle products, education and sensual apparel, Pepper is billed as the first luxury intimate wellness store on the Strip.

Twila True Fine Jewelry and Watches, where timeless classics meet new, stylish designs.

Sneaker Garden premium sneaker boutique will offer a wide variety of the most sought-after shoe brands and limited-edition merchandise, including Air Jordan, YEEZY, Off-White, Travis Scott collaborations, Fear of God, Supreme and Bape, among others.

Clivéi Beauty Salon, where guests are offered Champagne or specialty cocktails from the salon’s full-service bar while visiting the luxury salon offering hair, nail, lash and makeup services. Clivéi will also provide in-room and mobile services.

— Dr. Refresh, a one-stop shop for cosmetic and aesthetics. The flagship location is the first Dr. Refresh outside of Los Angeles.

— Sugarfina, aluxury candy boutique for grown-ups, with more than 100 gourmet sweets from artisan candy makers worldwide.

— Nectar Bath Treats, which sells handcrafted bath and beauty confections produced in Las Vegas, all made for the family. Founded in 2014 by Vegas entrepreneur Tom Taicher, Nectar will put the fun back into functional through delightful bath and beauty treats sure to put a smile on guests’ faces.

— Corso, an artisan jewelry brand inspired by places and cultures around the world. The boutique will offer exclusive collections designed specifically for the Resorts World location.

— Aubi & Ramsa, the Miami-based brand expands its wine and spirits with a unique selection of boozy ice cream flavors.

— O bag will offer customizable, Italian handbags and accessories.

— Black Clover, the familiar “Live Lucky,” premium lifestyle apparel company offering fashionable headwear, clothing and accessories.

— Sundries — Resorts World Las Vegas will offer six sundry shops, including three RW Stores, Elephant’s Closet and Sunkissed.

The Resorts World retail space takes up a total of 70,000 square feet — boutique-scale when compared to (for example) the 173,500 square feet offered at Wynn/Encore. Most of the Resort Worlds shopping activity is planned for The District, which runs parallel to the Strip and is also where Zouk Nightclub and AYU Dayclub are being developed.

Retail will mix with announced restaurants and bars in that area, just off the casino floor. Stores are also sprinkled in the Conrad and Hilton areas. In all, Resorts World will provide four separate entrances through the main porte cochere, Hilton, Conrad and a private VIP in its Crockfords “resort within a resort” section.

Sibella also hinted to pop-up events and partnerships with celebrities, especially Resorts World’s incoming headliners.

“Whoever we sign up here is partner, so you’re going to see their brands all over the property,” Sibella said. “That’s what we are trying to create here. Not just one-offs. We’ll do one-off concerts, but we’re trying to create a brand that will be with us three or four years.” And as we’ve learned, the products can last even longer.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.