Louis Vuitton Malletier referred to as Louis Vuitton, or shortened to LV, is a French fashion house and luxury retail company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label's LV monogram appears on most of its products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, watches, accessories and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. For six consecutive years, Louis Vuitton was named the world's most valuable luxury brand, its 2012 valuation was US$25.9 billion. The 2013 valuation of the brand was US$28.4 billion with revenue of US$9.4 billion. The company operates in 50 countries with more than 460 stores worldwide; the Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in France. Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ Cave Osilite trunk could be stacked. In 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat-topped trunks with trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight. Before the introduction of Vuitton's trunks, rounded-top trunks were used to promote water runoff, thus could not be stacked.
It was Vuitton's gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack with ease for voyages. Many other luggage makers imitated LV's design; the company participated in the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris. In 1871, Ōyama Iwao became the first recorded Japanese customer, ordering a set of luggage while in Paris as a military observer during the Franco-Prussian War. To protect against the duplication of his look, Vuitton changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876. By 1885, the company opened its first store in London on Oxford Street. Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888, Vuitton created the Damier Canvas pattern, which bore a logo that reads "marque L. Vuitton déposée", which translates into "L. Vuitton registered trademark". In 1892, Louis Vuitton died, the company's management passed to his son. After the death of his father, Georges Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibiting the company's products at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.
In 1896, the company made the worldwide patents on it. Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers, were based on the trend of using Japanese Mon designs in the late Victorian era; the patents proved to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, Georges traveled to the United States, where he toured cities such as New York and Chicago, selling Vuitton products. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the Steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks. By 1913, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Champs-Elysees, it was the largest travel-goods store in the world at the time. Stores opened in New York, Washington, London and Buenos Aires as World War I began. Afterwards, in 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noé bag; this bag was made for champagne vintners to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced. In 1936 Georges Vuitton died, his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, assumed control of the company.
During World War II, Louis Vuitton collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of France. The French book Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, authored by French journalist Stephanie Bonvicini and published by Paris-based Editions Fayard tells how members of the Vuitton family aided the puppet government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain and increased their wealth from their business affairs with the Germans; the family set up a factory dedicated to producing artifacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts. Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher, said: "They have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn't exist." Responding to the book's release in 2004, a spokesman for LVMH said: "This is ancient history. The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse and all the things a modern company should be." An LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine Le Canard Enchaîné: "We don't deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode.
We haven't put any pressure on anyone. If the journalists want to censor themselves that suits us fine." That publication was the only French periodical to mention the book, LVMH is the country's biggest advertiser in the press. During this period, Louis Vuitton began to incorporate leather into most of its products, which ranged from small purses and wallets to larger pieces of luggage. In order to broaden its line, the company revamped its signature Monogram Canvas in 1959 to make it more supple, allowing it to be used for purses and wallets, it is believed that in the 1920s, counterfeiting returned as a greater issue to continue on into the 21st century. In 1966, the Papillon was launched. By 1977 with annual revenue up to 70 million Francs. A year the label opened its first stores in Japan: in Tokyo and Osaka. In 1983, the company joined with America's Cup to form the Louis Vuitton Cup, a preliminary competition for the yacht race. Louis Vuitton expanded its presence in Asia with the opening of a store in Taipei, Taiwan in 1983 and Seoul, South Korea in 1984.
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Nordstrom Inc. is an American chain of luxury department stores operating in Canada and headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1901 by Swedish American John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin, the company began as a shoe retailer and expanded its inventory to include clothing, handbags, jewelry and fragrances. Select Nordstrom stores include wedding and home furnishings departments; the company has in-house cafes and espresso bars. Nordstrom, Inc.'s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN. Nordstrom has 379 stores operating in 40 US states, Puerto Rico and Canada, a number which includes 122 full-line stores and 244 Nordstrom Rack stores, two clearance stores, six Trunk Club clubhouses, three Jeffrey boutiques and three Nordstrom Local stores. Nordstrom serves customers through nordstrom.com, nordstromrack.com, its online private sale site, HauteLook. In 1887, John W. Nordstrom immigrated to the United States at the age of 16, he was born in the village of Alvik, close to the city of Luleå in Northern Sweden.
His name at birth was Johan Nordström, which he anglicized to John Nordstrom. After landing in New York, he first began working in Michigan and was able to save enough money to purchase a 20-acre potato farm in Arlington, Washington. In 1897, he joined the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada's Yukon Territory. After two years of prospecting, he struck gold, but sold his disputed claim for $13,000. Returning to Seattle with his newfound wealth, he married Hilda Carlson and looked for a business venture settling on a shoe store that opened in 1901, called Wallin & Nordstrom. Carl F. Wallin, the co-founder of the store, was the owner of the adjacent shoe repair shop. John and Hilda had five children, three of whom would follow him into the family business, Everett W. Elmer J. and Lloyd N. Nordstrom. In 1928, John W. Nordstrom retired and sold his shares to two of his sons and Elmer. In 1929, Wallin retired and sold his shares to them; the 1930 grand opening of the remodeled Second Avenue store marked the change of name to Nordstrom.
Lloyd Nordstrom subsequently joined the company in 1933, the three brothers ran the business together for forty years. By 1958, Nordstrom still sold only shoes, their expansion was based on deep product offerings and full size ranges. Apparel came with its purchase of Best Apparel of Seattle in 1963, the company's name was changed to Nordstrom's Best. In 1971, the company was taken public on NASDAQ, it was moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1999 under the ticker symbol JWN after John W. Nordstrom, its founder. By 1975, Nordstrom expanded into Alaska by purchasing Northern Commercial Company and opened its first Nordstrom Rack clearance store in Seattle. A strong northwest regional retailer with sales approaching $250 million making it the third-largest specialty retailer in the United States, the company opened its first Southern California store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa in 1978. By the early 1990s, it had opened 26 stores plus Racks in California. Subsequent expansion relied on creating a decentralized regional structure, beginning with the Northeast in the Tysons Corner Center in Virginia, the Midwest in the Oakbrook Center in Illinois, the Southeast in Atlanta, the Southwest in Dallas.
In a new region, the initial store was used as a base for training and recruitment for subsequent expansion, was backed by its own distribution center. From 1978 to 1995, Nordstrom opened a total of 46 full-line department stores. In 1976, Nordstrom opened a series of stores called Place Two to sell a more limited selection of apparel in smaller markets. By 1983, there were ten Place Two stores, but the cost of upgrading the smaller stores from a systems perspective, outweighed the benefit, the division was discontinued; the company expanded into direct sales in 1993, beginning with a catalog division led by John N.'s son Dan, followed by an e-commerce business. Nordstrom.com's fulfillment and contact centers are located in Iowa. It has distribution centers in Ontario, California. Nordstrom FSB, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nordstrom, Inc. is a federally chartered savings bank doing business as Nordstrom Bank. It was formed in 1991 in Scottsdale, with its customer contact center in Centennial, Colorado.
Nordstrom FSB was known as Nordstrom National Credit Bank and changed its name to Nordstrom FSB in March 2000. The bank offers various banking and credit products, such as Nordstrom Signature VISA, Nordstrom retail credit and debit cards, interest-bearing checking accounts, check cards, certificates of deposits, it offers Nordstrom customers cards under Nordstrom Rewards – its customer loyalty program – where customers earn points when making purchases with the card at Nordstrom and other retailers. Other rewards include Nordstrom Notes which are redeemed or used like cash in stores for new purchases and the Nordstrom Signature VISA card has an optional travel/leisure rewards feature; the Nordstrom Rewards program features 4 levels of status depending on annual spending and offers various promotional times throughout the year to earn double and ten-times points. Beginning in 1995, the fourth generation of brothers and cousins served as co-presidents for a time. After John Whitacre served as the first non-Nordstrom CEO in 1997, In 1998, Nordstrom replaced its downtown Seattle store with a new flagship location in the form
Gucci is an Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods. Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany, in 1921. Gucci generated about €4.2 billion in revenue worldwide in 2008 according to BusinessWeek and climbed to 41st position in the magazine's annual 2009 "Top Global 100 Brands" chart created by Interbrand. Gucci is the highest-selling Italian brand. Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide as of September 2009, it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores. In the year 2013, the brand was valued with sales of US$4.7 billion. In the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands list, Gucci is ranked the 38th most valuable brand, with a brand value of $12.4 billion as of May 2015. As of January 2015, the creative director is Alessandro Michele. With beginnings at the end of the 19th century, the Gucci company became one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of high-end leather goods and other fashion products; as an immigrant hotel worker in Paris and London, young Guccio Gucci was impressed with the luxurious luggage he saw urbane guests bring with them at the Savoy Hotel.
Before leaving, he visited the manufacturer, H. J. Cave & Sons. Upon returning to his birthplace of Florence, a city distinguished for high-quality materials and skilled artisans, he established a shop in 1920 that sold fine leather goods with classic styling. Although Gucci organized his workrooms for industrial methods of production, he maintained traditional aspects of fabrication. Gucci employed skilled workers in basic Florentine leather crafts, attentive to finishing. With expansion, machine stitching was a production method. Together with three of his sons, Aldo Gucci, Vasco Gucci, Rodolfo Gucci, Gucci expanded the company to include stores in Milan and Rome as well as additional shops in Florence. Gucci's stores featured such finely crafted leather accessories as handbags and his iconic ornamented loafer as well as silks and knitwear in a signature pattern; the company made handbags of cotton canvas rather than leather during World War II as a result of material shortages. The canvas, was distinguished by a signature double-G symbol combined with prominent red and green bands.
After the war, the Gucci crest, which showed a shield and armored knight surrounded by a ribbon inscribed with the family name, became synonymous with the city of Florence. Aldo and Rodolfo Gucci further expanded the company's horizons in 1953 by establishing offices in New York City. Film stars and jet-set travelers to Italy during the 1950s and 1960s brought their glamour to Florence, turning Gucci's merchandise into international status symbols. Movie stars posed in Gucci's clothing and footwear for lifestyle magazines around the world, contributing to the company’s growing reputation. Gucci's distinctive lines made its products among the most copied in the world in the early 2000s. Pigskin and imported exotic animal skins were subjected to various methods of fabrication. Waterproof canvas and satin were used for evening bags. Bamboo was first used to make handbag handles by a process of heating and molding in 1947, purses made with a shoulder strap and snaffle-bit decoration were introduced in 1960.
In 1964 Gucci’s lush butterfly pattern was custom-created for silk foulards, followed by luxuriant floral patterns. The original Gucci loafer was updated by a distinctive snaffle-bit ornament in 1966, while the "Rolls-Royce" luggage set was introduced in 1970. Watches, jewelry and eyewear were added to the company's product lines. A iconic touch, introduced in 1964, was the use of the double-G logo for belt buckles and other accessory decorations; the company prospered through the 1970s, but the 1980s were marked by internal family disputes that brought Gucci to the brink of disaster. Rodolfo’s son Maurizio Gucci took over the company’s direction after his father’s death in 1983 and dismissed his uncle Aldo—who served a prison term for tax evasion. Maurizio proved to be an unsuccessful president. Maurizio disposed of his remaining stock in 1993. Maurizio was murdered by a hitman in Milan in 1995, his former wife, Patrizia Reggiani, was convicted of hiring his killer. Meanwhile, the new investors promoted the American-educated Domenico De Sole from the position of family attorney to president of Gucci America in 1994 and chief executive in 1995.
The company had brought in Dawn Mello in 1989 as editor and ready-to-wear designer in order to reestablish its reputation. Well aware of Gucci’s tarnished image and the value of its name brand, Mello hired Tom Ford in 1990 to design a ready-to-wear line, he was promoted to the position of creative director in 1994. Before Mello returned to her post as president of the American retailer Bergdorf Goodman, she initiated the return of Gucci’s headquarters from the business center of Milan to Florence, where its craft traditions were rooted. There she and Ford reduced the number of Gucci products from 20,000 to 5,000. Steinunn Sigurdardóttir was the Director and Senior Designer for Gucci from 1995 to 2000. There were seventy-six Gucci stores around the world in 1997, along with numerous licensing agreements. Ford was instrumental in the process of decision-making with De Sole when the Gucci Group acquired Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Bottega Veneta, Sergio Rossi, and, in part-ownership with Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.
By 2001 Ford and De Sole shared the responsibility
Katherine Noel Valentine Brosnahan, known professionally as Kate Spade and Kate Valentine, was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the founder and former co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York. After working in the accessories department at the fashion magazine Mademoiselle and her husband, Andy Spade, identified a market for quality stylish handbags, founded Kate Spade New York in 1993; the handbags Spade designed and produced found popularity, owing to their sophistication and affordability, have been described as a symbol of New York City in the 1990s. The company expanded into other product lines. In 1999, Spade sold a 56-percent stake in her business to Neiman Marcus Group, in 2006 sold the rest of her shares. In 2016, Spade and her partners launched Frances Valentine. On June 5, 2018, Spade was found dead in her death being ruled a suicide. Spade was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan in Kansas City, the daughter of June and Earl Francis Brosnahan, who owned a road-construction company.
She was of Irish descent. After graduating from St. Teresa's Academy, an all-girl Catholic high school, Spade attended the University of Kansas, she transferred to Arizona State University, where she joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, graduated with a journalism degree in 1985. Fashion, she recalled was a love but not an obsession, her original goal was to become a television producer, she cited the example of Holly Hunter's character in the 1987 film Broadcast News as an inspiration. In 1986, Spade worked in the accessories department at Mademoiselle magazine in Manhattan, where she was credited by her maiden name, Katy Brosnahan. While at Mademoiselle, she started living with a native of Scottsdale, Arizona; the two had worked side-by-side as salespeople in a men's clothing store, Carter's Men Shop, when Spade was living in Phoenix. She left Mademoiselle in 1991, with the title of Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories. While working for Mademoiselle, she had noticed that the market lacked stylish and sensible handbags, decided to create her own.
Kate and Andy Spade launched the New York-based design company "kate spade handbags" in January 1993. "I wanted a functional bag, sophisticated and had some style," Spade would recall. She made six prototypes with Scotch Tape and paper, found a manufacturer in East New York willing to work with a startup to turn them into actual bags. To finance the company, who had worked as a copywriter, withdrew his 401 pension plan, sometimes paid employees with personal checks; the couple spent their shipping season living at friends' apartments since their own was filled with boxed handbags. Kate was undecided as to what name to give the company, because she and Spade had not yet married, "Kate Brosnahan" sounded like an unmarketable name for a fashion label, she considered a number of names, but agreed when Andy suggested "Kate Spade" — a combination of her first name and his surname that he found euphonious. After an early show at the Javits Center at which the department-store chain Barneys ordered a few bags, Kate decided to put the bag's labels on the outside, a change that took her all night to alter but established the brand.
The bags, priced in the US$150 to $450 range became popular in New York. Teenage females with disposable income appreciated the affordability of the lower-end bags; that was "a real shift" in fashion, said Fern Mallis, director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America during the 1990s. "Everybody had Kate Spade bags. You could afford them, buy more than one."Young American women at the time liked the sophisticated look. One woman recalled to Sarah Maslin Nir in The New York Times that the Kate Spade bags looked mature, without being too adult for a teenager as a Burberry bag would have been seen. "At the turn of the last century," Nir wrote, "her bag came to encapsulate a decidedly Manhattan moment in time," a moment when Vogue editor Anna Wintour recalled that it was impossible to walk a block in the city without seeing one. The company sold handbags at first, but soon extended to clothing, shoes, eyewear, baby items, tabletop and gifts. In 1996, the Kate Spade brand opened its first boutique, a 400-square-foot shop located in Manhattan's trendy SoHo district, moved its headquarters into a 10,000-square-foot space in West 25th Street.
In 2004, "Kate Spade at home" was launched as a home collection brand. It featured bedding, bath items, china and various items for the home. In 2004, Spade published three books on the subjects of etiquette and fashion—Manners and Style; that same year, a Kate Spade store was opened in Tokyo in Japan. Neiman Marcus Group purchased 56 percent of the Kate Spade brand in 1999, the remaining 44 percent in 2006; the Group sold the label in 2006 to Liz Claiborne Inc. for $124 million. The company was purchased by Coach, Inc. in May 2017. After selling the remaining portion of her ownership stake in the Kate Spade brand in 2006, Spade took time off to raise her daughter. In 2016, she and her business partners, including Elyce Arons launched a new collection of luxury footwear and handbags under the brand name Frances Valentine; the name Frances is a family name on Spade's paternal side. "Valentine" came from Spade's maternal side. In 2016, Spade l
Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts is an American upscale hotel chain owned by Marriott International. The Westin Brand has over 269 hotels in multiple countries; the first Westin branded hotel was established in 1981 when the company changed the name of Seattle’s Washington Plaza Hotel to the Westin Seattle adjacent to Westin headquarters in Seattle, WA. In 1930, Severt W. Thurston and Frank Dupar of Seattle, Washington met unexpectedly during breakfast at a diner in Yakima, Washington; the competing hotel owners decided to form a management company to handle all their properties, help deal with the crippling effects of the ongoing Great Depression. The men invited Peter and Adolph Schmidt, who operated five hotels in the Puget Sound area, to join them, together they established Western Hotels; the chain consisted of one in Boise, Idaho. Western Hotels expanded to Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon in 1931, by 1941 into Alaska and California, assuming management of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed.
By the early 1950s, Western had properties in Montana and Utah. Early management developed each property individually. After more than two decades of rapid growth, many of its properties were merged into a single corporate structure in 1958, focusing on bringing the hotels together under a common chain identity. In 1958, Western Hotels assumed management of three hotels in Guatemala, its first properties outside the US and Canada. Western opened its first hotel in Mexico in 1961; that same year, they opened the first hotel to be both constructed and owned by the chain, The Bayshore Inn in Vancouver. Western Hotels president Edward Carlson is credited with bringing the Century 21 Exposition to Seattle in 1962. Carlson's own napkin sketch of a tower with a revolving restaurant on top, inspired by his visit to the Stuttgart TV Tower, was the origin of the Space Needle; the chain managed the restaurant atop the Space Needle from its opening until 1982. Western Hotels managed a floating hotel aboard the ocean liner QSMV Dominion Monarch, docked in Seattle harbor during the fair.
The company was renamed Western International Hotels in 1963, to reflect its growth outside the US. That same year, the company went public. From November 1, 1965 to 1970, Western International had an agreement with Hotel Corporation of America, under which all 72 hotels of the two chains were jointly marketed as HCA and Western Hotels. From 1968-1973, Western International had a similar joint marketing agreement with UK-based Trust House Hotels. In 1970, Western International was acquired by UAL Corporation, with Edward Carlson becoming president and CEO of UAL, Inc and United Airlines. Western International bought New York's iconic Plaza Hotel in 1975 for $25 million. On January 5, 1981, the company changed its name again to Westin Hotels. In 1987, UAL Chairman Richard Ferris announced a plan to reorganize UAL as Allegis Corporation, a travel conglomerate based around United Airlines, Hertz Rent a Car, Hilton Hotels, Westin and linked by Apollo; this strategy failed and Westin was sold in 1988 to Aoki Corporation of Japan.
In 1994 Aoki sold Westin to Starwood Capital, real estate investment firm and parent of Starwood Lodging, Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. In 1998 Starwood assumed full ownership of the company. Westin claims to have been the first hotel chain to introduce guest credit cards, 24-hour room service, personal voice mail in each room. In the early 21st century, Westin focused on global expansion. Since 2005, the number of hotels grew from 120 locations in 24 countries to over 192 locations in 37 countries as of 2013. Westin markets certain amenities available in its properties to the public under the brand name Heavenly. In 2005, Westin became the first hotel company to gain a national retail store presence when Nordstrom started carrying the Heavenly Bed line in more than 60 stores. Westin refreshed its partnership with United Airlines in 2008. United began offering pillows and blankets from Westin's Heavenly Bed line on select United premium service routes between New York City and California, as well as Westin decorations and scents in some Red Carpet Club lounges.
These amenities were stopped following the merger with Continental Airlines. Beginning in 2013, Delta Air Lines began an extensive partnership with Westin and Starwood Hotels, which included adding Westin Heavenly In-flight Bedding to all Delta One seats on international flight as well as transcontinental flights. In 2016, Marriott International acquired Starwood; the Westin Seattle The Westin Charlotte The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites Los Angeles Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit The Westin Nova Scotian - Halifax, Nova Scotia The Westin Singapore - has the highest hotel lobby in Singapore The Westin Jakarta The Westin St. Francis - San Francisco hotel on Union Square The Westin Excelsior, Rome - The Villa La Cupola Suite, billed at US$30,000 per night, is listed at number 8 on World's 15 most expensive hotel suites compiled by CNN Go in 2012; the Westin Palace Madrid The Westin San Jose - Formerly the Saint Claire and Hyatt Saint Claire.
The Westin Hamburg - opened in 2016 and located in Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie concert hall The Westin Sydney The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Walt Disney World Swan-Connected with the Walt Disney World Dolphin at Walt Disney World The Westin Bund Center Shanghai
Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. is an American commercial real estate company, the largest retail real estate investment trust, the largest shopping mall operator in the US. The company operates five retail real estate platforms: regional malls, premium outlet centers, The Mills, community/lifestyle centers and international properties, it owns or has an interest in more than 325 properties comprising 241,000,000 square feet of gross leasable area in North America and Asia. The company is headquartered in Indianapolis and employs more than 5,000 people, it is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG and is part of the S&P 100. Simon Property Group was formed in 1993 when the majority of the shopping center interests of Melvin Simon & Associates became a publicly traded company. Melvin Simon & Associates, owned by brothers Melvin Simon and Herbert Simon, was founded in 1960 in Indianapolis and had long been one of the top shopping center developers in the United States. In 1996, Simon DeBartolo Group was created when Simon Property merged with former rival DeBartolo Realty Corp.
This was shortly after DeBartolo Realty became a publicly traded company encompassing the shopping mall interests of the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. family, another leading developer. Simon DeBartolo acquired assets in the then-fragmented industry. Notable acquisitions included The Retail Property Trust and a group of properties held by IBM's pension plan in 1997 and Corporate Property Investors in 1998. Following the CPI acquisition in 1998, the company announced it was reverting to its original name, Simon Property Group, as the DeBartolo family was resuming its private real-estate development operation, while retaining their interest in Simon. Simon continued to be a prolific acquirer of shopping centers, including a portfolio from New England Development in 1999. In 2003, Simon became a co-owner of The Kravco Company. On April 3, 2007, a partnership including Simon agreed to acquire the Mills Corporation. In June 2011, Simon entered into a partnership with Nintendo to provide complimentary 3DS Wi-Fi hotspots at nearly 200 of its malls.
This was expanded or changed to provide compatibility for laptops and mobile devices. In December 2013, Simon announced it would form a REIT of its smaller malls and community shopping centers called Washington Prime Group; the spin-off was created in May 2014 and was headed by Mark Ordan, the final CEO of the Simon-bought Mills Corporation. The regional malls in WPG were still managed by Simon and flagged as Simon Properties on websites and inside their malls until early 2016, while Washington Prime managed the "strip centers" of the portfolio in-house. In September 2014, WPG announced to acquire Glimcher Realty Trust and its properties, in which Washington Prime Group would be renamed WP Glimcher when the deal was made; the deal was completed in January 2015. As part of the deal, Simon acquired Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey and University Park Village in Fort Worth, while WP Glimcher acquired Brunswick Square in East Brunswick, New Jersey from Simon. On November 29 of 2009, Financial Times reported that Simon may have attempted to acquire its failing rival General Growth Properties, operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Should GGP have been acquired in its entirety, such deal would be worth up to $30 billion at the time. Simon hired property investment firm Cohen & Steers, J. P. Morgan, as well as the Lazard investment bank and the Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz law firm to explore the possibility of acquiring GGP. On February 16, 2010, Simon announced that it placed a bid on February 8 to acquire General Growth Properties in a deal worth $10 billion. However, the bid was rejected by General Growth twice during the week. On February 19, 2010, one GGP shareholder filed suit against the company's board of directors for rejecting Simon's bid, accusing chairman John Bucksbaum and six other board members of breaching their fiduciary duty to GGP's investors; the General Growth board favored an investment offer from Brookfield Asset Management worth $2.6 billion. Simon's next step, on April 14, 2010, was to announce a $2.5 billion equity investment offer which equaled the price per share of Brookfield's offer. Simon claimed that the deal was more favorable to GGP and its equity holders than Brookfield's offer, stating that it would eliminate the dilutive warrants that GGP would issue to Brookfield, Pershing Square and Fairholme Capital.
Simon's offer included a co-investment commitment by Paulson & Co worth $1 billion. Simon Property Group had not ruled out a full takeover of General Growth, claiming that their investment offer would give them more time to work out their differences concerning antitrust issues. On May 7, 2010, Simon Property Group decided to withdraw its acquisition and recapitalization proposals for General Growth Properties. Instead, General Growth were acquired several years by competitor Brookfield Property Partners, making Brookfield the number 2 mall operator in the USA behind Simon. On December 8, 2009, Simon Property Group was offered the sale of Prime Retail's Prime Outlets portfolio for $2.24 billion, which included centers at Will
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Italy's oldest active shopping mall and a major landmark of Milan, Italy. Housed within a four-story double arcade in the center of town, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy, it was designed in 1861 and built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867. The structure consists of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala; the street is covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade in London, the prototype for larger glazed shopping arcades, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels, the Passazh in St Petersburg, the Galleria Umberto I in Naples and the Budapest Galleria. The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome; the Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern glazed and enclosed shopping mall, of which it was the direct progenitor.
It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping malls. On the ground of the central octagonal, there are four mosaics portraying the coat of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy plus Milan's. Tradition says that if a person spins around three times with a heel on the testicles of the bull from Turin coat of arms this will bring good luck; this practice causes damage to the mosaic: a hole developed on the place of the bull's genitals. The Galleria connects two of Milan's most famous landmarks: The Duomo and the Teatro Alla Scala, but the Galleria is a landmark in its own right; the Milan gallery and its roof have been acknowledged as an important reference on 19th-century iron-and-glass architecture by Pevsner and Hitchcock. As one can still observe today, the roof consists of four barrel vaults that are crowned with a huge dome. Jorini pointed out the accomplishments of this dome with special regard to the large dimensions; each of the roof parts is topped with a lantern.
According to Geist, the Milan gallery and the roof were unprecedented in dimensions by built shopping arcades. Another difference with existing passages, was the monumental character of the roof at Milan. Jodice, for example, appreciated the monumental spatial effect of the dome. In comparison to earlier emblematic arcades, such as Galerie d'Orléans and Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, the Milan arcade was special because of the large spans of the vaults and the ethereal effect of the entire glass canopy; the construction of the whole Gallery was the result of international collaboration. This concerned the roof: the ironwork was produced and installed by the French Atelier Henry Joret; the glass plates were made of flat ribbed glass by Saint-Gobain. The construction technology of the roof employs primary wrought-iron arches in order to support the glazing. By contrast, arcades that were built earlier were smaller and had simpler roofs: the same components were used for both load bearing and glazing purposes.
In addition, the roof at Milan was equipped with invisible reinforcements in the supporting walls. This complicated roof is discussed as the unity of four systems that were skillfully combined through characteristic construction details; this construction technology was creative for avoiding visible tie-rods in the spans of the vaults and the dome, for a special effect of the glass plates and for the glazing bars. The historical roof was damaged during World War II. Before that the roof had undergone multiple maintenance interventions. Serious problems in the roof were reported in the 1970s, some of them were solved in the 1980s; the roof that we see today has gone through different historic modifications and represents complicated conservation issues. In 2015, in preparation for Expo Milano 2015, the facades and mosaics underwent detailed cleaning and repair, using a giant moving crane scaffolding system; the Galleria is nicknamed il salotto di Milano, due to its numerous shops and importance as a common Milanese meeting and dining place.
As of 2013, the arcade principally contains luxury retailers selling haute couture, jewelry and paintings, as well as restaurants, cafés, a hotel, the Town House Galleria. The Galleria is famous for being home to some of the oldest shops and restaurants in Milan, such as Biffi Caffè, the Savini restaurant and the Art Nouveau classic Camparino. In 2012, a McDonald's restaurant was prevented from renewing its tenancy, after 20 years of occupancy; the restaurant contended that it was the only tenant to be denied the right of first refusal on its new lease, that the public tender to replace it was "unfair". McDonald's sued the landlord—the city of Milan—for €24 million in damages, alleging that the loss of the lease will deprive McDonald's of €6 million per year in sales. During its last few hours of operation, the restaurant offered free food and drink to over 5000 customers; the McDonald's restaurant was replaced with the gallery's second Prada store. McDonald's renounced its suit against the City of Milan after receiving the opportunity to open a new restaurant in a nearby area.
Geist, Johann F. Arcades: The History of a Building Type, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-07082-0 Insight Guides, Northern Italy, APA Publications, ISBN 981-234-903-0 Arcade Retail History and Restoration of Galleria Vittori