Last December, times
were described as "difficult." We have segued from "difficult"
to "uncertainty." Whether "uncertainty" is any
better than "difficult" is anybody's guess. I am writing
this on the 17th of March, when sword-rattling and uncertainty loom
over us all, surrounded by cymbals, drums, and bagpipes, for it's
St. Patrick's Day...
You will be reading this at a later date. By that time, the uncertainty
may be over and the world will be headed in a different direction,
or perhaps not, but right now, "uncertainty" has become
the byword of the day.
Uncertainty has brought with it complaints about the economy, employment,
etc. making things seem most likely worse than they are.
For example, the real Gross Domestic Product has expanded for five
consecutive quarters in this country, averaging 2.7 percent. Consumer
spending rose, but not as high as had been hoped.
For the year 2003, Bear Steams economists are forecasting a real
GDP growth of 4.0 percent. Last December, personal income rose 0.4
percent, on top of a 0.3 percent gain in November. This January,
unemployment fell 30 basis points 5.7 percent, down from 6.0 percent
in December. That's not all that bad, is it?
In the Luxury markets, the Bear Stearns Luxury Ledger Stock Index
in a year over year basis, fared much better than world markets
in general. In 2002, the Luxury Ledger Stock Index considerably
outperformed most world markets. Coach was
by far the best-performing stock. Others were Christian
Dior, Wolford, Gucci Group, and
LVMH. Over the long term, the industry fundamentals
New York City is still the leader, uncertain
times or no, still the capital of the world. Its magnetism draws
retail from around the world. Everyone shops in New York, for necessity
and pleasure, all the time. People from all over the world come
here for many reasons, but usually end up shopping...
The luxury real estate is market is strong. There is expansion
- the big are getting bigger and tenants vie each other for available
space, when space is available:
On Fifth Avenue, Luxury Walk: Badgley Mischka
will open a Bridal Salon on Escada's lower
level. The Liz Claiborne flagship store
is converting to Mexx. FAO Schwarz
is set to open a boutique in Saks Fifth Avenue.
LaCoste will open at 608, southwest corner
of 49th Street and Benetton is moving next
door to itself - 597 to 601.
Along the Golden Mile of Madison Avenue: Face
Stockholm is now at 1263. Dean & DeLuca
at 1150. Exhale at 980. Mark Garrison
moved from 980 to Park Avenue. Park Gallery
is at 974. Galo is moving from 692 Madison
to 895. Via Spiga will take over 692. Silvano
Lattanzi has opened at 874. Bruno Magli
to take Cerutti's place at 789, 67th Street.
Kaufmann de Suisse will open at 785.
Chopard purchased a townhouse at 21 East
61st Street for its headquarters, very near the boutique at 725
Jimmy Choo to open a second Manhattan store
at 716. Mont Blanc is moving across the
street - 598 Madison Avenue, northwest corner of 57th Street,
next to Dior. The first Talbots
Men in New York is coming to 527 Madison, where
it will be joined by Talbots Kids, adjacent
to the present Talbots Women at 525. Jurlique
has opened at 477. Roche Bobois at 200,
on the northwest corner of 35th Street.
On East 57th Street, Luxury Crossroads: Yves
Saint Laurent is moving into the former Levis, No.
3, next store to the LVMH flagship. Dior
Homme will take the place of Christian Dior
Joaillerie at 21. The Joaillerie
will become part of the Christian Dior Boutique.
On West 57th Street, The U.S. Golf Association
has bought the Russian Tea Room building.
Just off Fifth Avenue: Beverly Feldman
has opened on East 56th Street, Alan Flusser
at 3 East 56th Street, and Kiton's American
headquarters will be at 4 East 54th Street, on the northwest corner,
formerly Banco di Napoli.
On the Upper East Side, Cantaloup
will be at 1036 Lexington Avenue, on the northwest corner of 74th
Street. Marimmeko has moved from Madison
Avenue to Third Avenue, as has Maurice Villency
- to the Southeast corner of 57th Street. Aerosoles
is set to open at 148 East 86th Street.
New tenants at the AOL TimeWarner Center are to be: Sephora,
Thomas Pink, Tourneau, and
Crabtree & Evelyn. Cache is
moving from Trump Tower to the AOL Center.
Victoria's Secret has opened a megastore
on Herald Square.
In the Flatiron District, Arden B.
will be at 104 Fifth Avenue, on the block with Paul Smith.
Aerosoles will be at 168 Fifth and Ann
Sacks at Fifth and 18th Street.
In the Meatpacking District, The Hotel Gansevoort
to open next fall. Rescue Beauty Lounge
to open a third spa at 34 Gansevoort Street. Edrin Nicholls,
celebrity hairdresser will open a salon in the near future, as will
Sally Hershberger, hairdresser to the stars,
next to Jeffery on West 15th Street.
Three newcomers to Howard Street: E. Vogel,
No. 19; Ted Muehling, No,. 27: and Benjamin
Cho, No. 35.
Design Within Reach will be opening at
408 West 14th Street. Jackie Rogers has
opened at 34 Little West Street.
In Tribeca, Jean-Georges Vongerichten
will open a traditional Chinese cuisine restaurant early next year.
The reclamation of Soho continues: Charles Worthington
will open his first hair salon outside the U.K. at 568 Broadway.
Bloomingdale's is taking over the Canal
Jeans location also on Broadway. This will be the
largest store to open in New York since Barneys
ten years ago. Arden B. is opening another
store at 532 Broadway. Pearl River Mart
is moving from Chinatown to 477 Broadway. The Lounge,
lifestyle retailing to open on lower Broadway.
However, the Museum of Contemporary Art
is moving from 583 Broadway to -The Bowery, 235...
Flou is coming to 42 Greene Street. La
Perla. 93 Greene. Sharper Image, 98 Greene.
Natuzzi at 101-103 Greene and Helmut
Lang is opening his flagship on Greene Street.
Marithe & François Girbaud is
opening at 47 Wooster Street. There will be another Design
Within Reach at 142 Wooster. Adidas Originals
is opening on Wooster, 134-136.
Barry Keiselstein-Cord is coming to West
Broadway, rebranding at Barry Cord. D&G
is expanding, taking over the Furla location
at 430 West Broadway. Robert Marc will open
a seventh store at 436 West Broadway.
Carlos Lizan Designs will open a second
store, 96 Grand Street. The only stateside branch of Inxert
will be at 500 Broome. Custo Barcelona will
also be on Broome. between Greene and Wooster. Henro Antiques
is moving from 462 Broome to 66 Crosby. Costanca Basto
is coming to 573 Hudson Street.
In Nolita, Gracie is returning to Lafayette
Street, after one hundred years. Objets du Desir
will be 241 Mulberry Street and Saigoniste
at 239. Crumpler, from Australia, will open
45 Spring Street, The Apartment, at 101
Crosby, and Dinosaur Designs at 250 Mott
In Chelsea, Balenciaga will be on West
22nd Street, between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. Comme
de Garçons is nearby. Portico
is moving to Chelsea Market from Tenth Avenue.
W Hotels is expanding into retail with
the W the Store boutiques. The first boutique
will be in the Times Square hotel and three more are planned. Merchandise
in each store will be edited to to suit the location.
So ends my report. As I wrote before, by the time you read this,
it may be quite irrelevant to what is going on. Then again, it may
not - it's all so uncertain.