A walk through SoHo last Saturday may have been ill advised —as if we needed to be reminded that slack-jawed tourists walk even slower in the Summer heat— but we noticed that two prominent stores have fled the scene. The Swatch store (below), a longtime resident at the corner of West Broadway and Prince Street has packed up its plastic watches and moved on. We won't miss it, exactly. In fact, we don't think The Shophound had ever even been inside that particular store. We are more interested in what will happen to the space now that it is available. Will it go to a brand with some excitement that could add some luster to West Broadway's odd mix of famous designer brands, a few lingering galleries and some not quite A-list boutiques? SoHo has started attracting major designers again, but names like Stella McCartney, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent have all opted for the neighborhood's more desirable side streets rather than what is supposed to be its main drag.
The other departure is somewhat more disappointing. We always liked the Victorinox store (above) if not for its always reliable watches, sturdy luggage and travel accessories, then at least for its complete selection of Swiss Army knives, a tool we have always found to be endlessly useful. Unfortunately, the brand's apparel line has never made quite the impact it was meant to, but we're hoping the gadgety brand finds itself a new home somewhere.
The fine folks at Victorinox have contacted us to let us know that while their Prince Street store is currently closed, it is relocating to 114 Wooster Street and set to re-open in November. Their lease was up. We'll have to go a few months without those pocketknives, luggage and watches, but they will be very much back in business just in time for Holiday shopping.
As for Swatch, as far as we know, they're still out for good.