This morning's WWD has a big story about the now-flailing retail sector in Los Angeles--specifically areas like Third Street, the Melrose corridor (home to stores like Marc Jacobs, Maxfield and Alexander McQueen), Robertson, and Montana in Santa Monica. Specialty boutiques have been shutting down at a more rapid rate lately. And commercial real estate is struggling--places that were supposed to open like Vera Wang and Phi have scrapped their plans due to the economy. While this isn't exactly shocking news, what's interesting to us is how much later this seems to be happening in Los Angeles.
We've sadly gotten used to coming to work in Nolita and seeing empty storefronts and the clearing out of merchandise. But there seems to be a delayed reaction in California. We've even noticed a similar thing happening in terms of friends being laid off. Considering that the state of California itself is pretty much a financial disaster at the moment, we were trying to think about how this didn't happen at the same time it did in New York. My working theory is that while the entertainment industry has, like everything else, been affected by the recession. It was not hit as hard, deeply or quickly a, say the financial industry in New York. And Los Angeles is very much a one-industry town, especially when it comes to the moneyed types. So perhaps the trickle down was slow. And now it's finally hitting home. We wish it weren't so, but we can say we feel their pain.