We’ve had twelve months of retail acclaim—the best for sales since 1999—and 2006 is already gathering momentum to be another superb shopping year. A number of the sectors that turned out the big sellers in 2005 are poised to keep drawing in droves of wide-eyed shoppers next year.

Children were the little darlings of 2005 and lavish luxury items, food with attitude, and glittery, must-have jewelry were top of the shopping list and will continue to please in 2006.

There are also some new trends to talk about—more home furnishings, and plenty of sports and fitness retailers to help New Yorkers get physical and work off any holiday overindulgences. New York saw big names in big lights last year, including Hershey and Samsung Experience, and will soon see more, such as mega-stores from Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Apple.

Here’s what happened to us last year and where the retail market’s set to boom in the New Year.

Not only were luxury goods the top temptation of 2005, they’re going to keep captivating the New York shopper’s gaze right through 2006. New Yorkers love to lounge in the lap of lavishness and stores are spilling their treasure right and left to meet our “nothing’s too much”- style desire.

In 2005, Sermoneta opened on Madison to ravish shoppers with its lovely gloves, leather handbags and other accoutrements extraordinaire. Tous from Spain toasted shoppers in Soho with an accessories boutique boasting diamond jewelry, watches, resortwear, handbags, perfumes and sunglasses, among other luxurious offerings, many of which feature the company’s 20-year-old signature bear in their designs.

New temples to opulence are shooting up across Manhattan -- and will continue to all through 2006 -- proving that no one appreciates the joys of indulgence in luxury more than a New Yorker does all through 2006!

That old phrase has fresh currency in an age when children are star attractions for a parade of retailers. With parents breaking the bank to make sure their kid doesn’t miss a treat from the time they’re newborn to when they’re in college and beyond, retailers had their hands full keeping up with demand throughout 2005. One of the stores helping mom and dad keep youngsters happy was Giggle, which serves those in a family way and gets them ready for baby at their Soho flagship and another location uptown. London-based Rachel Riley also jetted over to Madison Avenue to establish its U.S. flagship—bringing her line of exquisite handmade clothing for infants, children and women to a new audience.

Build-a-Bear and American Girl Place did a great job of proving that catering to the smaller set carries a giant payoff. We’re going to see plenty more stores that integrate learning and fun under one brightly painted roof in 2006.

All in all, with parents working overtime to make their wee ones gleeful, we’re sure to see a slew of new spots that crown kids as kings (and queens).

The fever for fine dining and wining went so high in 2005 it seemed the year would have to mark the peak of ogling fellow diners at Manhattan’s “see and be seen” restaurants. New York mouth-watered at the openings of restaurants too numerous to count, including entries from celebrity chefs like Danny Meyer, Tom Colicchio and Sirio Maccioni. But Manhattan never just says no to new ultra-chic dining opportunities. And 2006 is looking set to be every bit as big a dining bonanza as its predecessor.

Even everyday food shopping became a little more fabulous with New Yorkers learning the ins and outs of shopping in a European key, strolling through food halls rather than supermarkets and dawdling in specialty shops rather than delis.

Union Square became the true foodie’s victory—or paradise! Trader Joe’s is about to go toe to toe with the neighborhood’s existing roster of gourmand glory stores, including the new Whole Foods. Union Square West is also about to become home to a brand new super-sized Balducci’s.

We’re going to see fresh invasions of heavenly restaurants and food purveyors throughout 2006— including new waves of celebrity cooks coming on crusade from as far as Lyonne in France and Napa Valley in California to turn New York into an unparalleled food mecca. Get your bibs and silver spoons out!

What a year 2005 was for the trade in all that sparkles and shines! Madison Avenue got a new name: “The Bejeweled Mile”—rechristened for all the stones glowing in the windows of jewelry retailers that opened up along “Mad Ave’s” gilded length. In 2006 the jewelers are going to keep mining the city and you’re going to have to look pretty far off the Avenue not to get blinded by the luster of these treasures. Diamond dealers have gone retail by the dozen, including Israeli jeweler Vivid, which set up shop nearby other new options for jewelry consumption on Madison. Lockes Diamantaires also locked in a Madison Avenue flagship—soldering together two of last year’s hottest trends—jewels and flagships.

The escalation in exquisiteness is going to keep up its uncontainable growth in 2006 with even more oh-so-sophisticated European jewelers closing ranks with some unique all-American additions. From gemstones burning with the hues of fire found deep below the earth to diamonds and other rocks that dazzle us with light bright as suns, New York will have a treasure-hoarde of jewels to show off.

New Yorkers have a passion for feathering their nests and creativity will flourish like never before in 2006. We’ll flock to stores that incorporate the best of home furnishings, entertainment and education. While ABC Home, Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel will remain as popular as ever, shoppers will have new ways to “go domestic” such as stores that allow shoppers the opportunity to buy the finest cookware and receive cooking lessons at the same time, or pick up linens as well as savvy tips for entertaining. There will also be more stores offering the full spectrum of home goods under one roof in the New Year.

Retailers from Washington and California are among those scouting New York spaces for places to debut this innovative concept.

New Yorkers are known for being fitness fanatics and getting in tiptop shape will be trendier than ever in this healthy New Year. Whether it be running, biking or yoga, a slew of new sporting goods and accessories stores are racing to fuel the frenzy.

The latest craze to send New Yorkers into overdrive is the “lifestyle” sports shop, which provides a more interactive experience. Shoppers will get the full gamut - equipment, apparel, Faith Hope Consolo Chairman Prudential Douglas Elliman's Retail Leasing and Sales Division Tel: 212-418-2020 Fax: 212-418-2005 fconsolo@elliman.com www.faith-consolo.com instructions and even places where one can take part in their sport of choice. Burton, which opened a flagship in Soho in early 2006, is a perfect example of this trend. Snowboarders come from near and far to purchase gear from this hip sporting goods retailer, which makes its customers feel like they are right on the slopes. New York will also see more Modell’s, Adidas, Puma, Nike and Paragon in 2006.

Biking in Italy, skiing in Tahoe -- whatever your fitness fantasy, there will be a store to accommodate it.

The corporate giants will continue to make their way to the city in 2006. Most recently, Samsung Experience followed the success of its predecessor Sony, who scored big in Manhattan with its “experience store” and now has a whole building all its own. Samsung just opened its inter active signature store in Time Warner Center to rave reviews.

Hershey’s also sweetened the deal for New Yorkers, bringing us the smallest store with the largest sign in bustling Times Square.

Bringing new meaning to the phrase “Big Apple,” Apple will soon open the doors to its fabulous Fifth Avenue shop, which will be the company’s largest ever.

Coca-Cola and Microsoft are also set to debut in Times Square this year, bringing even more huge names to the glittering, over the top shopping and entertainment district.

Last year was a true shopper’s dream. In 2006, the vision will only get bigger and better!


Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, Retail Leasing & Sales Division
Prudential Douglas Elliman

Tel: 212-418-2020 / Fax: 212-418-2005

e-mail: fconsolo@elliman.com