The Somerset Collection is spearheading a 4,000-square-foot temporary retail operation in Detroit set to open at the end of the month.
To include many of the Troy retailer’s tenants, such as Neiman Marcus, the Somerset Collection CityLoft will occupy space in the Lofts of Merchants Row along the 1400 block of Woodward Avenue.
“Everyone is excited about this, and the retailers are beyond eager to get involved,” said Birmingham-based public relations consultant Ed Nakfoor, who represents Somerset.
“Detroit is a cool brand right now.”
The shops will be open for three days a month in July, August and September. After that, the space will be used for events. It is leased through the end of the year.
Nakfoor said the idea came out of the Somerset Collection’s “You Belong Here” campaign to promote the city and region.
Things started during the Christmas shopping season, when the mall had its Detroit Shoppe, a Detroit-themed retail store.
“We had such an overwhelming response to the Detroit Shoppe,” Nakfoor said. “CityLoft grew out of that.”
Neiman Marcus will be one of the retailers in CityLoft. Joining the Dallas-based retailer will be West Bloomfield Township-based Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry.
Also involved: New York-based Anne Fontaine; Merrimack, N.H.-based Brookstone; Bellevue, Wash.-basedEddie Bauer; New York-based Eileen Fisher; New York-based Kate Spade; Italy-based Max Mara; San Leandro, Calif.-based North Face; Corte Madera, Calif.-based Restoration Hardware; Austria-basedSwarovski; Anaheim, Calif.-based Sweet Factory; and Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Vera Bradley.
The retailers do not have to pay additional rent to sell their goods in the space. Rather, the rent will be paid by a group of sponsors including the Southfield-based Forbes Co., which owns Somerset; Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc.; the Cadillac division of Detroit-based General Motors Co.; and Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp.
A portion of the retail proceeds will be donated to the Somerset Collection Charitable Foundation, which donates to local nonprofits and cultural institutions.
The retailers will work within the overall design of the 4,000-square-foot space, Nakfoor said, and will be able to adapt the space to fit their brands.
“Some have their own look; some of the products will be grouped together,” he said. “Gadgets from Brookstone, for example, might be paired with office-oriented items from other stores.”
The Detroit store will open July 28.
By Daniel Duggan, Crain’s Detroit