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If it's Wednesday, it must be time for another depressing WWD article about the state of LA retail. This time, the publication focuses on downtown Los Angeles, where a decade of gentrification seems to be slowing to a halt.
Residents would really love a big box store, according to a poll by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. They'd also take a Gap or Banana Republic, and they're in mourning for the closed Macy's at 7th + Fig. But as the Grand Avenue Project falls behind schedule, the luxury retail complex across from the Staples Center gets put on hold, and the area's biggest developer, Meruelo Maddux Properties, files for Chapter 11, it sounds less and less likely that any national chains will be moving in. Unless you count Ed Hardy.
There's a bit of an upside, though: The area's “combination of art and grunginess” still makes it attractive to arty local brands. Skin.Graft opened a boutique there earlier this month, and avant-garde shop M'ouments has made sure that while downtown might not have a Target, it is well-stocked in Comme des Garçons.
· Recession Stalls Downtown L.A. Retail [WWD, subcription req'd]
· Storecasting: What's Going to Replace Macy's? [Racked]
· Storecasting: Ed Hardy Materializes on Spring Street [Racked]