The Sunshine Economy: Luxury Retail, From Head To Toe To Stomach

Aug 30, 2013

Jimmy Choo at Sawgrass Mills. Hermes in the Design District. Even Marky's Caviar in Miami Gardens. South Floridians are welcoming luxury retailers with open arms just like Britto's "Welcome" sculpture greets shoppers near Dadeland Station in the photo on the right.

Credit Tom Hudson

Luxury retailing in South Florida is expanding beyond its traditional glitzy locations and stretching to include not just shoes and accessories, but also shoppers’ appetites.

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Gourmet food stores, once limited to selling to a small in-the-know customer base, are extending their brands as consumers, especially the well-heeled native and moneyed South Florida tourist, look for something unique in a crowded, homogenized and increasingly corporate retail market.

Meantime, it's not all high-end shopping. While critics step up their efforts to stop it, Wal-Mart is getting closer to moving into Midtown Miami. If successful, it would bring another global big-box retailer to a neighborhood shopping district trying to carve out its own identity.

As part of WLRN's Sunshine Economy on South Florida's retail industry, the Ina Cordle of the Miami Herald tells us how the luxury trend is heating up as two important regional industries improve: real estate and tourism.