Aritzia to Open Largest Flagship in NYC
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According to the Zee Report, Aritzia, the Vancouver-based retailer, in November will open a 13,000-square-foot flagship at 600 Fifth Avenue in a building that is part of Rockefeller Center. The flagship will be Aritzia's biggest store in the world, a distinction held by the 10,000-square-foot SoHo store, which opened in June tail2011.
"Fifth Avenue is truly one of the global destinations," said Brian Hill, Aritzia's chief executive officer. "There's a high quotient of tourists in both places, but Fifth Avenue has a little more of a serious shopper."
Aritzia will take over space previously occupied by Esprit, which closed in February as part of the beleaguered Esprit Holdings' decision to shutter all of its North American stores.
Robin Abrams, a retail real estate broker at the Lansco Corp., said Aritzia's new location is significant because "it will have an impact with regard to the type of tenancy that locates on Fifth Avenue and it will send a message that the west side of Fifth Avenue is trending more toward fast fashion than luxury." Abrams said the invisible line separating the more upscale Fifth Avenue addresses from the more populist stores was historically between 49th and 50th Streets.
Aritzia designs several exclusive labels, including Wilfred, made with luxurious fabrics; Wilfred Free, a casual lifestyle brand; Le Fou by Wilfred, the most directional line; the modern and classic T. Babaton, and the edgy A Moveable Feast. In addition, the retailer carries designers such as J Brand, Joie, Cynthia Vincent, Athe Vanessa Bruno and Swedish Hasbeens.
"SoHo has exceeded the top end of our estimations by 50 percent," said Hill. "It all seems to be working. We've had a very directional customer so our directional pieces within the brands have had no resistance at all in SoHo. The only thing that surprised us was the volume and lack of resistance to high points."
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Jun 18, 2012 09:53 AM EDT