Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Beverly Hills's Rodeo Drive Dreams of Green Christmas California Symbol of Style Rebounds after Deep Recession

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Beverly Hills's Rodeo Drive Dreams of Green Christmas California Symbol of Style Rebounds after Deep Recession

Article excerpt

'The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway. There's never been such a day, in Beverly Hills, L.A."

As he wrote these words for his 1940 hit, "White Christmas," lyricist Irving Berlin was looking out his window not far from Rodeo Drive, the upscale, retail heart of this wealthy suburb.

If he were looking out that same window today, different lyrics might come to mind: "Cash registers are ringing, the cash is green, and up is going the Dow. There's never been such a cash cow, in Beverly Hills, eeyow!" This four-block stretch is known around the world for high-end luxury goods on par with Paris' Champs-lysees, London's Bond Street, Tokyo's Ginza, and New York's Fifth Avenue. But despite some of the most-storied names in money (and most-monied names in stores) - Chanel, Gucci, Cartier - the area's classy cachet was headed for the dumpster in the early 1990s, thanks to California's worst-ever recession. Now, with the recent rebound of the US economy and a major turnaround in the long-term fortunes of the Golden State (courtesy of a reinvented, high-tech economy) one of the world's great holiday shopping streets is back, big time. "We've had a diametric turnaround," says Fred Hayman, boutique owner and founding member of the 25-year-old Rodeo Drive Committee. Pointing up a street that has welcomed eight major new stores and five complete remodels in the past two years, he says, "Two years ago the place looked dead, and now we're having our greatest resurgence ever." For retailers here, and for southern California in general, these comments reflect a turnaround in confidence about a city that for several years has projected the images of chaos around the globe: riots, earthquakes, fires, and mud slides. "The Rodeo Drive turnaround is a perfect mirror to the fact that southern California has returned to good economic times," says Chuck Dembo, a Beverly Hills-based realtor. He adds that almost no retail space is now available and that commercial property values are up 20 percent. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.