time a year ago the retail market had started to gain momentum, following what
had been a tedious year by all accounts. Deals were beginning to close at a faster
pace and every-one was feeling rather optimistic, especially as the Christmas
season approached. It turned out to be a very good holiday for retailers across
the country, but it was really only the beginning.
This year – 2004 – has been completely different. We started
the year straight off the high of the robust Christmas sales numbers and everything
continued at a frantic pace. New stores opened and others expanded and things
seemed to be back on track, for both luxury retailers and for those in the world
of fast fashion/cheap chic.
What an incredible year it’s been!
New retailers entered the market, including Build-a-Bear,
which has decided to open its Fifth Avenue store, coming on the heels of the very
successful American Girl Place.
New York also saw the
first department store to open in
the city in 50 years, when Bloomingdale’s went Downtown to SoHo.
Speaking of Downtown, the neighborhood has been reinvigorated
by new stores such as Lacoste, Links of London and Quicksilver.
the ever desirable Madison Avenue, formerly known as the Gold Coast, but now called
the Jewel Coast because of the dozen new jewelers that have opened along its glittery
length over the past year, there were a slew of new and prestigious names. The
jewelers came from all over – Monte Carlo, Geneva, and even Rome.
Heading over to fabulous
Fifth Avenue, the scene was just as glamorous. Zara opened this year
and DeBeers will debut its first store on the East Coast shortly.
Over on Third Avenue, there
were new entries. Molton Brown from London opened up, as did the
much-awaited big box retailer Home Depot, a heaven sent for all
the do-it- yourselfers.
The West Side had its share
of activity, opening a brand new Bed Bath & Beyond and a Barneys
with a delightful new Kiehl’s store.
Heading down to fashionable
Flatiron soon will be a new Fresh store and another Coach.
Melandrino joined the
infamous Jeffrey this year over in the ultra-chic Meatpacking District.
Busy Bleecker Street lived up
to its reputation with the addition of Scoop and Intermix,
which now both call the corridor home.
If you thought we had an
incredible Christmas last year, just you wait, for the most fabulous
holiday season since 1999 awaits!
If you’ve been in the stores lately,
I’m sure you’ve seen for yourself that it really is beginning to look a lot like
Christmas. Happy Holidays!