designer clutches

Three people were arrested after police said they stole thousands of dollars worth of designer handbags.Simpsonville and Taylorsville police teamed up for the three-week investigation leading to Monday’s arrests.


Police said the merchandise stolen totals more than $15,000 and they said the store it was taken from didn’t know it was being stolen.

Heather Armstrong turned down an offer to buy one of the Kate Spade purses. She lives in the same apartment complex as two of the suspects.

We were sitting out here and he brought a box up and he said, ‘Hey we got these purses for real cheap,’ Armstrong said.

Simposinville Police Department Ofc. Daniel Willis said over a two-week period Aaron Bruner removed single purses along with boxes of purses.

Police said Bruner works as a maintenance worker at the Outlets of the Bluegrass.


He had a key to the storage area, Willis said.

Investigators said employees at Kate Spade had no idea their merchandise was gone.

Much of it was part of a new collection that hadn’t even been released in stores.

They were shocked. I think they started calling loss prevention in New York to let them know what was going on, Willis said.

After a three-week investigation, officers arrested Bruner, Courtney Chesher and Marlon Hill. The trio is charged with receiving stolen property.

We started watching and staking out locations where we might find these purses. And this morning in the wee hours, we located those purses in a vehicle, Taylorsville Police Department Chief Phillip Crumpton said.

When police asked Bruner why he did it, he said it was to support a drug habit. He said he was able to trade the purses for actual heroin.

Police said the suspects admitted to selling some of the handbags at pawn shops in Louisville, on Facebook and to people in gas station parking lots.

Right now, three are facing charges but more arrests are expected to be made.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who thinks they bought one of the stolen handbags are asked to call the Sumpsonville or Taylorsville police.

By Emily Maher@AITbags

International luxury brand Hermes will relocate to Prince’s Building, in Central, a move suggesting it plans to sell its flagship store at The Galleria at 9 Queen’s Road Central amid sluggish sales of luxury goods.


Hermes Asia Pacific told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday it had “just signed a contract with Hongkong Land for relocation of the brand’s flagship store in Prince’s Building”.

“It is a significant investment which proves Hermes’ confidence in the local retail market,” it said.

Although Hermes did not reveal more details, industry insiders say it may replace three existing Prince’s Building tenants – Alfred Dunhill, Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers – which occupy a total of more than 10,000 sq ft.

Hermes is likely to open the new store at Prince’s Building next year or in 2018, with the existing tenants’ leases due to expire over the course of next two years.

Prince’s Building’s ground floor also accommodates other world-famous fashion and specialty stores, including Cartier, Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Industry insiders said the relocation plan suggested Hermes was considering selling its 7,500 sq ft flagship store at The Galleria, for which it paid HK$190 million in 2002.

It may be the first ground-level retail shop put on sale in nearly a decade Michael Chik, Sheraton Valuers

“Globally, Hermes does not own properties except Paris and Hong Kong,” one source said. “The sale in Hong Kong is probably the result of aiming to cash in after seeing huge capital appreciation of the retail property rather than concern about poor retail market sentiment.”

Hermes is offering the flagship store at an indicative price of HK$1.5 billion, or HK$200,000 per square foot, according to the Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Times newspaper.

If the retailer managed to realise a sale for HK$1.5 billion, it would reap a gross profit of HK$1.3 billion within 14 years.

“It may be the first ground-level retail shop put on sale in nearly a decade,” said Michael Chik, managing director of agency Sheraton Valuers.“This transaction will serve as a benchmark in the market.”


International brands which paid ultra-high rents in 2008 are surrendering space as fewer mainland tourists visit Hong Kong amid Beijing’s anti-corruption drive, which discourages spending on luxury items.

In September, bag and accessory retailer Coach closed its 13,000 sq ft flagship store in Central, citing high rent and a falling number of mainland tourists.

Coach was charged a penalty of HK$130 million after it decided to terminate the lease two years ahead of the October 2017 expiry.

The shop is now occupied by sports brand Adidas at a rent of about HK$5 million a month, plus the cost of the advertising billboard, about 28 per cent cheaper than the HK$7 million Coach had been paying since 2008.


“Under the current sluggish retail market, I would not be surprised to see more luxury brands either retreating or surrendering their spaces in the wake of declining sales,” Chik said.

Central’s retail shops had been nearly fully let, but Chik said he had recently spotted some vacant stores available for leasing. Lanvin did not renew the lease for its 800 sq ft ground-level shop plus 7,000 sq ft of mezzanine space at New Henry Building, just opposite The Galleria, and the landlord was now open to all offers.

In Causeway Bay, fast fashion chain Forever 21 was in talks with potential tenants to take up its space at Capitol Centre, for which it was paying a jaw-dropping HK$11 million a month, he said.

Joe Lin, executive director of retail services at leasing firm CBRE, said some mid-scale overseas brands planned to expand into Hong Kong to take advantage of lower retail rents.

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