TAKE A BOW:

Scoop NYC In The Financial District Will Be Gone After This Weekend

ScoopLiquidation
Yes, we know the picture says Last 4 Days, but it was taken yesterday at the Scoop NYC in Brookfield Place which was looking more than a little depleted at the time. That leaves Today, Tomorrow and Sunday to say goodbye to a once beloved chain of contemporary boutiques the chain's most recently opened location. While nostalgia is in order, we have all had weeks to come to terms with Scoop's demise. The thing to do right now is what shopper do best, and that is to pick over its carcass like vultures looking for the best bargain. And it'll be tough, because there's not much left. Yesterday, the chain lowered final discounts to 50% to 70% off the lowest marked prices (which, as far as we could tell were only full prices), and a visit to the FiDi and Meatpacking locations showed some pretty picked over offerings, though, depending on your size, you might find a gem or two. Anyway, it's worth a stop by if you are in the neighborhood perhaps for a cheap t-shirt or maybe a couple of souvenir mannequins.

UPDATE:
It turns out that the Brookfield Place store is the only one closing this weekend. The last two stores on Washington Street in the Meatpacking District and on Third Avenue on the Upper East Side are still slated to remain open for another month through the second week in July. Presumably, consolidations from other already closed stores in the chain will be funneled to them, so it's worth checking back, and it looks like there will be time for at least another round of markdowns before the chain's final swan song.


EXPIRATION DATE:

The Second Week In July Will Be The Last For Scoop NYC

ScoopLiquidationToday's Thursday Styles has a look back at the rise and fall of the Scoop NYC boutique chain that is currently in the process of liquidating, and the most significant bit of information it reveals is that the chain will finally shutter its stores on the second week of July. That gives it about eight more weeks to get rid of its inventory which should mean escalating discounts through the sale period. It's not exactly the best time to be liquidating, since Scoop will be competing with the regular seasonal markdowns in all of the other stores that have the same merchandise, and it will have to go a bit deeper than the 20% off it has mostly been offering for the past couple of weeks in order to compete with regular old sales elsewhere.
Otherwise, the story told in the article by former insiders is much as we have heard. The once hot chain lost a bit of its mojo when co-founder Stefani Greenfield departed and the up and coming labels it helped to discover became less exclusive and opened their own boutiques —generally in competing locations— and became mainstays in the burgeoning contemporary departments of major retailers like Saks and Neiman Marcus. Instead of replacing those maturing labels with newer, hotter ones, the store chugged along as a comfortable if less essential stop the millennial shopping tour until skyrocketing rents and ill-advised leases did it in Now there are eight weeks left to how much Scoop can slash its prices enough to make us all come back to clear its racks and shelves.
Liquidations are an inherently bittersweet stage of a store closure, but we will try to keep shoppers updated on just how much of a discount is being offered.

The Last Days of Scoop By Marisa Meltzer (NYTimes)


THE FAREWELL SALES:

Scoop Shifts Into Liquidation Mode While Carson Street Remains Serene At Half Price

ScoopLiquidation
It's going to be a sad couple months with some great bargains as New York says goodbye to a cornerstone of contemporary retailing along with a short-lived but much admired men's boutique.
Scoop NYC confirmed early Monday that all of its stores would be closing over the next several weeks and commenced a modest 10% off storewide promotion suggesting that it would be going the slow route toward clearing merchandise, but as regular, non-liquidating stores are set to release spring markdowns in a few weeks, it seems like an acceleration is in order. Today, The Shophound was notified that storewide discounts have risen to 20% off with certain categories like boots and off-season accessories discounted 30% to 40% off the lowest ticket prices. We didn't see anything that had been previously reduced, so it would appear that most everything offered is still marked at full price, but the ugly liquidation posters are up in the windows, and when we stopped by the Third Avenue Scoop on the Upper East Side (pictured above and below) merchandising was being reorganized on the racks by category; dresses over here, pants over there, etc. At this point, the discounts are not extraordinary, but it may be worth it to venture forth to save a little on certain non-seasonal items that rarely get discounted like certain shoe and sneaker styles and other accessories. Further reductions are sure to be on the way , but regular Scoop fans should know that the most recent sale notice was sent to Shophound email as a press notification and specifically not to the personal email which is on Scoopnyc.com's regular mailing list. This may be because Scoop's e-commerce website has been closed entirely aside from a landing page that will direct you to the nearest store. The G.O.B. sale is now exclusively brick-and-mortar, so don't wait for any big discounts online, but, since it is not a court-ordered bankruptcy liquidation, the store is still accepting any remaining gift certificates.
ScoopLiquidationSigns
The other big goodbye this season is to the short lived but much loved Carson Street, (pictured below) which notified its customers that its entire stock is now a tough to resist 50% off. We stopped by on Monday afternoon to check it out in person and found the store locked and dark at what seemed to be a reasonable shopping time. We were a bit perplexed as to how its clearance would be handled. Online only? We made our way there again this afternoon, and found it open as normal. You would never have known that there was a closing sale going on. The store seemed as tranquil as always, and full of lots of designers that aren't widely distributed, or discounted, and certainly won't found at half price at this point in the season. On the racks as usual were labels like Lemaire, J.W. Anderson, Jil Sander, Greg Lauren, Tim Coppens, Tomas Maier, Umit Benan and Ami to name just a few. Anyone who is a fan of more directional menswear should make it their business to get down to Carson Street's Greene Street store posthaste, although, if you can't make it down to SoHo, its e-commerce site is still up and running and featuring the current discount.
So that's the clearance report for the moment. We will do our best to keep you as up to date as possible on these bittersweet sale situations.
CarsonStExt


UNEXPECTED EXIT:

Carson Street Calls It Quits

CarsonStreetClothiersCrosbySt2013Much admired men's store Carson Street announced that it would close its doors at the end of June after just over three years in business.
Originally opened on Crosby Street as Carson Street Clothiers (pictured at right), the store recently made a major move to a larger but somewhat more out-of-the-way space last Fall coinciding with a new abbreviated name and distinct change in direction from a modern, updated classic point of view to a more progressive style. Perhaps it was too much change too fast. Trouble seemed to be brewing earlier this week when cofounder Brian Trunzo announced his exit from the company to pursue his own projects. The store's 2013 debut was highly anticipated by industry watchers as an audacious project from menswear fans but retailing outsiders Trunzo and Matt Breen. The shop's construction was chronicled on Esquire.com, and was greeted with praise when its doors finally opened featuring a well edited assortment of the most favored menswear designers of the moment displayed in a welcoming setting featuring a cozy lounge and friendly salespeople. The location was smartly chosen as Crosby Street became home to more and more complementary stores like Saturdays NYC and Miansai. The arrival of Seattle's Totokaelo last fall seemed to solidify the street as a prime destination for shopping, but Carson Street was already planning to relocate to a block of Greene Street that was further off the beaten path of shoppers.
A new, separate wholesale collection called Deveaux was launched earlier this year at New York Fashion Week Men's for this fall, which may have been one complication too many too many for the still growing company. That business will continue even as the store closes, and is expected to be found at Totokaelo, United Arrows and Spruce according to WWD.
The Shophound will miss browsing through Carson Street's racks, and its always sad to see a promising shop depart before its time, but the predictable silver lining remains what will have to be an excellent G.O.B. sale over the next couple of months.

Carson Street to Close Store (WWD)


OFF-PRICE MELTDOWN:

Amazon's MyHabit Flash Sale Site To Shutter Next Month

ScreenShot-MyHabit
In another sign that the flash sale online shopping model has peaked, Amazon announced today that its MyHabit off price portal will shut down at the end of May. A relative latecomer to the flash sale game, MyHabit debuted in 2011, while sites like Gilt and RueLaLa were thriving, but as the field became oversaturated with too many players fighting over too little bona fide designer merchandise, the fascination with limited online sales cooled. Relative latecomers like Vente Privee bowed out without gaining any traction, and now MyHabit is following it, while Amazon focuses its fashion attention on its other, more full line businesses like ShopBop and its men's counterpart East Dane.

We will miss MyHabit. While the competition was definitely tough, the site managed to regularly offer a good selection of high-end merchandise at deep discounts from luxury brands like Ferragamo and Balenciaga as well as European designers like Jil Sander, DSquared2 and Rick Owens. At this point, however, it seems clear that even the preeminent flash sale sites are either winding down or becoming adjunct to larger, full service off price retailers like Haute Look's joining with Nordstrom Rack and even the once mighty Gilt's recent link-up with new sibling Saks Off-5th. Though My Habit was always connected to Amazon —you could even use their gift cards to shop on the site— its latecomer status kept it from taking advantage of the peak of the flash-sale craze. Its departure may, however, allow for more prized designer goods to be available to the remaining sites like Gilt and RueLaLa, so perhaps there's still hope for remaining flash-sale fans.

Amazon Shuttering Myhabit.com (WWD)


UES UPGRADE:

Smythson To Class Up The Corner On Madison And 61st Street While DKNY Leaves The Block

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In case anyone thought that moderate contemporary brand Vince Camuto was a little bit downmarket for Madison Avenue, you were probably right. It looks like the brand has ditched the flagship across the street from Barneys that was once the home of the respectable Cole Haan, leaving it to the suitably exclusive Smythson of Bond Street. The prestigious British stationer and accessory purveyor will shortly be opening its new store there having relocated from the Crown Building on West 57th Street. Trading "across the street from Bergdorf's" for "across the street from Barneys" is probably something of an even swap, prestige-wise, and the windows on the corner of 667 Madison Avenue tell us that the new store will be open in March.
But isn't it a little bit snobby to suggest that department store mainstay Vince Cameo's premium line isn't up to snuff for Madison Avenue? After isn't DKNY just on the other corner of the block with chain store Ann Taylor just across 60th Street?
Not anymore.
As part of the brand's ever more radical-appearing revamp, DKNY has abandoned its three-level Madison Avenue showplace, the last vestige of Donna Karaon on the street, leaving its SoHo store on West Broadway as its primary flagship home. As you can barely see reflected in the photo of the shop door below, the large Ann Taylor store has also been emptied out and is available to lease. Now there are two rather sizable retail spaces available in particularly desirable locations waiting for some deep-pocketed companies to swoop in and install some new flagship-sized stores. Who will move in, or more to the point, how long will those stores sit empty before someone coughs up the dough to move in?
DKNYclosed


WEST VILLAGE INS & OUTS:

Paul Smith Is In
Mulberry, Black Fleece & Marc Jacobs Men's Are Out On Bleecker

BleeckerPaulSmith
Remember when Bleecker Street was such a hot retail address that the older stores were being pushed out and replaced with new designer boutiques at a breakneck pace?
Well, that's over.
As luxury labels retrench in the face of economic uncertainty, Bleecker street is suddenly looking less like a hotspot and more like a tony neighborhood in a holding pattern, perhaps a couple of years behind the neighboring Meatpacking District where once precious retail space is now available in greater abundance. Since the Holiday season, A few more Bleecker Street storefronts have gone empty. Mulberry has quietly exited its outpost at 387 Bleecker leaving it with larger stores on both Madison Avenue and Spring Street in SoHo. Perhaps a tiny store that benefited from Bleecker Street's hotspot-of-the-moment glamor is no longer such an imperative when there are other bigger stores in more heavily trafficked neighborhoods with more potential for sales volume and brand visibility.
Mulberry is not the only company reconsidering its retail strategies. Marc Jacobs is in still the midst of re-inventing his own label. Since the Marc by Marc Jacobs label that made up most of his Bleecker Street stores' offerings has been discontinued, his West Village colony of shops is in a transition of its own. It was always a kind of free-flowing arrangement with stores regularly switching places. With Want Les Essentials de la Vie having already having taken over one of the designer's former shops, the latest branch to bite to the dust is the teeny tiny men's store whose windows are now blacked out. That leaves Jacobs with only his original shop at 403/405 Bleecker, Bookmarc across the street at #400 and the beauty store at #385, which is still a strong showing, but we are still wondering how things will settle retail wise for Marc. His men's store has always been problematic. Having bounced around from one of Jacobs' West Village locations to another, it always seemed to wind up in the same stall-like space that could only hold a few customers at a time and seemed like a poor setting for one of America's premier designers to present his collections. Part of this probably results from the fact that Jacobs has been candid over the years about his personal disinterest in menswear as a designer. He rarely if ever wears his own brand, preferring more attention getting outfits from labels like Comme des Garçons and most recently being very vocal about buying copious amounts of Alessandro Michele's first Gucci collection. His lack of interest is reflected at retail where the label has little traction in menswear, and industry watchers are wondering if the men's division has many more seasons left at all without stronger direction. Closing its store couldn't be seen as a sign of faith in the division.
While once it was incredibly difficult for a retailer to even acquire a space on Bleecker Street in its most desirable stretch between Christoper Street and Hudson Street, now a prospective retailer has something of a selection. Since Brooks Brothers has sadly discontinued its Thom Browne designed Black Fleece collection, its boutique at 351 Bleecker at the corner of West 10th Street has also been shuttered leaving another prime spot open, and more space at 345 Bleecker will be available soon as Comptoir des Cotonniers has posted a closing notice in the window of its unit there. In addition, the empty where the neighborhood favorite Manatus Restaurant once served up classic diner fare is still empty after it was forced out nearly two years ago in hopes of attracting a higher paying tenant who has yet to show up.
It's not all bad news, however. As promised, Paul Smith has opened up a temporary store at 357 Bleecker Street (pictured above) to replace his original Flatiron store. As reported, it's smaller than the shuttered  lower Fifth Avenue boutique, but Smith promises a bigger permanent unit on the way. So far the store is only carrying early Spring deliveries heavy on his lower priced label, PS. Perhaps even after a more impressive space  presents itself, Smith, who has also streamlined his profusion of labels, should consider hanging on to the Bleecker Street store as a PS-only shop. It would fit in perfectly with the street's more recent focus on slightly more accessible designer labels, and it would fill up a shop that might otherwise not find a tenant a swiftly as it might have a few years ago.

Previously:
Paul Smith Is Leaving Flatiron For Bleecker Street. . . For Now

See a gallery of closing notices after the jump.

Continue reading "WEST VILLAGE INS & OUTS:

Paul Smith Is In
Mulberry, Black Fleece & Marc Jacobs Men's Are Out On Bleecker
" »


FOND FAREWELL:

Kitchen Cult Store Broadway Panhandler To Close This Year

Broadwaypanhandler copy
Some things just aren't meant to last forever.
While we have become accustomed to hearing about beloved independent retailers forced to close after exorbitant rent hikes or predatory competition, Broadway Panhandler will close its doors sometime this spring for a less painful reason: retirement. Store owner Norman Kornbleuth is 72 years old, and has simply reached the point where he is ready to wind the business down. Since his children are not interested in carrying on the business, and his attempts to sell the store have proved fruitless, Mr. Kornbleuth will shutter it when he decides the time has come. “We were never just about housewares,” he tells the Times' Florence Fabricant. “With my background, we could continue to sell equipment to restaurants.” Originally opened in SoHo about 40 years ago, Broadway Panhandler migrated from its namesake address in 1995 to Broome Street and then again up to East 8th Street in 2o6. Through the years, Kornbleuth developed a destination for chefs, celebrities and celebrity chefs alike thanks to the kind of personal service that is hard to replicate outside independent stores. Despite heavy competition from upscale chains like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and even discount laden Bed Bath & Beyond, the store thrived with most of the same top brands they carried plus more arcane fare and more exclusive suppliers. The store has been known as the first stop for obscure cooking items that are easily overlooked by bigger chains. Most notable was the extensive knife counter with a selection tough to match in the city. Culinary minded New Yorkers will still have independent stores like Whisk and Bowery Kitchen Supply in Chelsea Market to look to, but it will be tough for them to match the wide selection and depth of expertise that made Broadway Panhandler a mainstay.

Broadway Panhandler, Longtime Manhattan Cookware Retailer, to Close in Spring By Florence Fabricant (NYTimes)


COURSE CORRECTION BLOODBATH:

Macy's Is Closing 40 Stores & Planning Off-Price Outlets Inside Existing Stores

MacysHSIs it really such a big deal to close 40 stores if you have 773 of them?
Maybe not. After all, it's less than 10% of the Macy's store count, but it just goes to show that the kind of course correction that might be seen as relatively innocuous for another company becomes an event of a completely different scale when you are the 800 (or possibly 773) pound gorilla of the department store industry.
In fact, 40 stores is substantially bigger than most of the regional chains that have been absorbed over the years by what is now known as Macy's Inc. The mega-chain didn't get that big organically. It is the result of individual acquisitions like the Bamburger's chain once well expanded through the Mid-Atlantic region, but more importantly mergers with larger consolidated retailers that operated many individual nameplates. The current chain includes the remnants of former retail giants Allied Stores, Federated Department Stores and May Company which have ultimately put Macy's in every major market in America.
One could argue that despite pruning its fleet less dramatically over the years, those mergers and acquisitions have still left Macy's over-stored. In many cases acquired stores in the same mall as an existing location have been converted to separate Home or Menswear units and in at least one case, Tyson's Corner Virginia, there are two full Macy's stores literally across the street from each other in competing malls. Both of those stores are remaining open, a testament to the strength of that particular market where elsewhere it would be clearly redundant.
Three to four sales jobs will be cut from each of Macy's existing stores —which doesn't do much to respond to the recurring complaint that it is hard to find a salesperson in Macy's. That will still be a whopping loss of about 3,000 jobs. In addition only about 30% of retiring or voluntarily departing senior executives will be replaced, and about 600 back office jobs will be eliminated with 450 of those workers being laid off permanently rather than reassigned within the company. The total job loss is expected to be about 3,500 positions.
All of this is a response to a 4.7% decide in sales over the past few months which was higher than predicted. It is almost certain that the extremely unseasonably warm weather in most of the United States over the Fall season has contributed to the drop.
“In light of our disappointing 2015 sales and earnings performance, we are making adjustments to become more efficient and productive in our operations," says Macy's Chairman and CEO Terry J. Lundgren in a press release issued yesterday outlining the chain's strategy, "Moreover, we believe we can operate more effectively with an organization that is flatter and more agile so we can pursue growth and regain market share in our core Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s omnichannel businesses faster and with more intensity."
It's not all grim news, however. Three new Macy's stores and Two Bloomingdale's branches are set to open by Fall 2018, but more interestingly, the Macy's Backstage format, a budding off-price chain meant to compete with Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off-5th and the like, is set to grow with 50 new units, most of which will be opening within existing Macy's stores rather than as freestanding entities.
We remind ourselves that 50 stores is only a fraction of the 733 stores that will remain after the store culling, but it means that an off-price or clearance department will become a permanent fixture in some of the chain's full-line stores. What will this be like, and how will it affect the chain's full-price selling and its typically heavy promotional activity? Also unknown is how the chain's key vendors will feel about having to compete with discounted merchandise in the same store that normally would have been diverted to other channels after seasonal clearance sales. That will be very interesting to see unfold as, traditionally, most other chains have chosen to at least keep their outlet stores in separate buildings, though they have been losing in on their full-line mothership locations in recent years. We are reminded that Filene's Basement began literally in the basement of the flagship Filene's department store in Downtown Boston. Though it was eventually spun off into a separate company, it ultimately lasted longer than its namesake progenitor. Do we dare draw comparisons?

Macy’s, Inc. Outlines Cost Efficiency Initiatives and Lists Store Locations to Be Closed (Press Release)


IMPENDING DOOM:

Patricia Field To Close Her Store After Nearly 50 Years

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It's hard to imagine Downtown New York without a Patricia Field store, but we will have to get used to the idea next Spring when the ageless, flame-haired fashion fixture will shutter her eponymous boutique. When she closes the store, it will have been just about 50 years since its founding in the West Village in swinging 1966. The store settled on East 8th Street in 1971 and remained there to wardrobe flamboyant dressers and clubgoers through the eras of Studio 54, Area, Pyramid, Palladium, Twilo, Jackie 60, and beyond. In 2006, she moved her store to the still-gritty Bowery, and during her decades as a cutting-edge retailer, Field has supported many an outrageous indie designer, launched her own House of Field label and provided day jobs and nighttime outfits to more fierce ruling New York drag queens than we could begin to count. Hers has been a store like no other —a funky and fantastical celebration of style for customers who have been fearless, eclectic and just a bit kinky. It's the kind of place you can count on if you have decided that you needed a pair of  shiny patent leather leggings, a crystal festooned showgirl outfit, or maybe just another feather boa. When Field started garnering acclaim for designing costumes for Sex and the City, her store became something of a tourist attraction as well, spawning a satellite store in SoHo The TV and film work she started during the 1980s has only been growing steadily since. Field is not closing the store due to a rent hike or some other real estate pressure. She owns the now highly desirable space herself, but running a retail store for five decades can exhaust even the tireless, and the time she gains will allow her to take advantage of the opportunities that have come her way that she has had to turn down in recent years. We may still see her shopkeeper's touch at the occasional curated pop-up shop like the one currently found at Dover Street Market. “I’m going to miss my clients, the face-to-face time with them, the most. I make people look beautiful and feel happy, and I’ve been fortunate to make a career out of that,” Field tells the New York Daily News. While she will leave a niche that will be very difficult for someone to come and fill, her work as a costume designer, currently for TV Land's Younger and multiple film projects, continues to go strong, and faithful customers can look forward to next Spring when Field will empty out her stockrooms and warehouse for a blowout closing sale that should be as good for people-watching as it will be for bargains, if not better.

‘Sex and the City’ costume designer Patricia Field closing store (NY Daily News)