The luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot specializes in timepieces like the Big Bang model, which can be encrusted with diamonds and cost a whopping $5 million. So, with bling like that in its showcases, you know Hublot took an ultra-judicious approach recently when it weighed the relative merits of NorthPark Center and Highland Park Village as the site of its first boutique in Dallas. The company decided eventually in favor of NorthPark, an enclosed super-regional mall at Northwest Highway and North Central Expressway, over Highland Park Village, a smaller, open-air luxury lifestyle center less than 4 miles away in Highland Park.
“We looked at both centers and thought, why not have a store in each one?” says Hublot executive Rick De La Croix. “But in the end we decided we had to choose one, based on the location and the terms and the conditions. … Our clientele is global, so we have to be in a 360-degree environment, and that starts always with the management. Highland Park Village is a very beautiful mall, but it wasn’t as strong in the competition as NorthPark was.”
Hublot’s choice between NorthPark and Highland Park Village is one that’s been faced by a number of upscale retailers in Dallas, where these two iconic, family-owned shopping centers compete not only to attract high-end tenants but affluent patrons as well.