The entirety of famed luxury shopping strip Rodeo Drive was blocked to traffic by early afternoon on Saturday. The Beverly Center, a mall in West Hollywood that houses a number of luxury brands, also decided to close entirely, a representative confirmed. The center had just reopened on Friday, after L.A. officials suddenly announced earlier in the week that in-store shopping could resume.
On Rodeo, the likes of Gucci, Prada, Dior and Rolex, among many others, were being hurriedly boarded up by workmen. A number of the stores had slowly started to reopen since Wednesday, allowing shoppers inside and refreshing merchandise displays. On Saturday, the same stores were locked and emptied of all merchandise.
A policewoman on duty standing at a traffic barricade confirmed the police presence and the actions of the retailers on Rodeo were due to the protests in the area and the rioting Downtown the night before. On Friday night, protests had turned to looting of local jewelry stores.
As for the Beverly Center, a Taubman property, a spokeswoman said the decision to close was actually led by the luxury tenants that decided to preemptively close their doors due to fears of looting. Despite the Beverly Center being largely indoors, brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada, which were open at the center on Friday and were seeing shoppers spend money, didn’t want to take the chance.
“Many tenants proactively informed us that they would not be opening today as a result of last night’s protests,” the spokeswoman said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we did not open the center today. We have not had any damage.”
The tentative plan is to reopen the center on Sunday, “barring any unforeseen circumstances.”