Bloomingdale's opened in the Dubai Mall this past weekend. It's the luxury retailer's first-ever store abroad, and it sounds pretty fantastic. Very different from Bloomie's here in the States, with a focus on ultra-high fashion instead of accessible luxury. There are two Bloomingdale's outposts in the mall, one dedicated to fashion and the other to home. Macy's Inc., which owns Bloomingdale's, teamed up with Dubai-based Al Tayer Group to open the store. Al Tayer runs the Middle Eastern operations of a ton of Western retailers, including PPR-owned Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and others like Harvey Nichols and Gap. The two companies have thus far invested about $73 million in the project. Al Tayer's connection to PPR means it's not a huge surprise that there are Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent shop-in-shops at the new Bloomie's. Here are some other highlights:
- Mary Katrantzou and Prabal Gurung in the Women's Designer section
- Surface2Air and McQ by Alexander McQueen in Women's Contemporary
- An outpost of Forty Carrots, the famed frozen yogurt shop
- A Magnolia bakery
- Pratesi linens, Kelly Wearstler-designed housewares
Bloomingdale's plans on distinguishing itself from Dubai's vast array of departments stores--including Galleries Lafayette, the aforementioned Harvey Nichols and Saks Fifth Avenue--with a focus on brands you can't find anywhere else in the region. Will it work? Well, despite the fact that the entire country is in financial shambles, shopping is still the number one leisure activity in Dubai. So probably.