Wall Street Journal
- FEBRUARY 22, 2012
Showdown Over Miami’s Swank Set
MIAMI—For decades, Bal Harbour Shops has reigned largely unchallenged in this area’s luxury retail market. With reported annual sales of $2,327 a square foot last year—more than five times the national average—the mall is one of the most profitable in the country.
But a challenger has arrived on the scene. Developer Craig Robins is creating a new luxury shopping destination in this city’s hip and artsy Design District, 10 miles south of Bal Harbour.
Luxury sales have held up better than the rest of the retail sector during the economic downturn, powered in part by demand from emerging markets. In few places is this more evident than here, where the economy has gotten a boost from foreign buyers scooping up posh condos downtown—only minutes away from the Design District—and a growing influx of well-heeled tourists from Brazil and elsewhere.