CHAIN IN DANGER:

Scoop Closes In SoHo As New Troubles Emerge
UPDATED
All Scoop Stores Now Closing

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Scoop NYC, the fast growing retail chain that rode the contemporary designer explosion of the turn of the 21st Century to great success is facing some new challenges. WWD reports that the chain has closed its 10,000 square foot flagship in SoHo (pictured above) and is mulling the future of other branches —possibly that of the entire chain.
The retailer's ailment is not sales, apparently, but its rapid expansion during a time when prime locations have been scarce and renting only at top dollar rates. Margins at scoop are said to be in excess of 46% of sales and over $1,000 per square foot, enviable business levels by anyone's standards, but they are being eaten away by rents that are too high and stores that are too big, hence the closure of the chains largest and possibly most expensive one.
Started just 20 years ago by Stefanie Greenfield and Uzi Ben-Abraham, Scoop helped pioneer the upper contemporary/ designer boutique chain by mixing prestige designer labels like Missoni, Margiela and Derek Lam with resurgent premium denim brands and more casual contemporary fare, and presenting merchandise by lifestyle rather than by label. The billed the store as "The Ultimate Closet", and their concept won acclaim and lots of customers. Eventually, menswear was added in the same manner, and though the results in that category wound up looking fairly middle-of-the-road in terms of fashion, commercially it was a hit, offering side-by-side shopping for couples. Similarly merchandised chains like Intermix and Barneys Co-op also thrived alongside Scoop in its heyday, But Barneys has discontinued the Co-op division and converted its locations to more upscale, small Barneys boutiques, while the broader expansion of Intermix is now backed by Gap Inc. Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. acquired Scoop in 2007, and is said to have ruled out a bankruptcy filing, though liquidation may not be off the table. The chain still has 15 stores left, mostly in New York City and Long Island, but also in key cities including Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta but only with single units. Its most recently opened store is in Brookfield Place in the financial district. It sounds like we should expect to see a few more Scoop store closures in the coming months, but hopefully, the chain isn't ready to give up the ghost just yet.

UPDATE:
Or maybe it is.
Over the weekend, Scoop stores started running 10% Off storewide store closing sales in all remaining 15 locations with merchandise expected to hold out for 8 to 12 weeks. The aforementioned overhead costs have reportedly clobbered the chain out of viability, with with unrealistic double digit comp numbers required to ensure profitability against high rents on oversized stores. In other words, there is no feasible path forward for the chain. In New York City, the remaining Scoop locations are on Third Avenue between 73rd and 74th Streets, Brookfield Place, and separate men's and women's stores on Washington Street between 13th and 14th Streets in the Meatpacking District as well as East Hampton and Wheatley Plaza stores on Long Island.

Scoop Succumbs to Market Forces; All Stores Closing (WWD)


THIS WEEK ONLINE:

Givenchy, Love Moschino, Fendi, Prada, New Balance, Kate Spade/Jack Spade, WeSC, Emporio Armani, Brunello Cucinelli & More

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

GILT GROUPE
Timo Weiland, Fleur du Mal, Love Moschino, D'OR 24K, Hartford Swim, Marc New York, Givenchy, Movado, Silhouette Sunglasses, Frye, Nanette Lepore, Gold Hawk, Alexis Bittar, Red Carter, OneForty8 by Lafayette 148, Tailor Vintage, Onia Swimwear, Tom Ford Fragrance, Rapp Black Watches, CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Underwear —join HERE
RUE LA LA
Tommy Bahama, Børn, XCVI, FENDI, French Bull, L.K.Bennett, Adrienne Vittadini, KUT from the Kloth, Splendid, Badgley Mischka, EBEL Watches,   —join HERE
HAUTE LOOK
New Balance, True Religion, A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, King Baby, ALDO, Kate Spade New York, Jack Spade, Lab Sries, WeSC, Zanzara, Ivy Kirzhner, The Coverii, Wacoal, Chinese Laundry, Betula by Birkenstock, A.J. Morgan, Andrew Fezza, Florsheim/Johnston & Murphy, Raymond Weil  —join HERE
MY HABIT
Lancaster Paris, Eve Lom Beauty, Prada, Elie Tahari, Tommy Hilfiger, L2 by Loma Cufflinks, Chetta B, Ellen Tracy, Joe's Jeans, WeSC, New Balance, Emporio Armani, Robert Graham, Bruno Piatelli Ties, Bacco Bucci, Brunelli Cucinelli —join HERE

ATTENTION SHOPPERS:

The Comme des Garçons Mega-Sale Is Coming Back With Dover Street Market Too!
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More Last Minute Sample Sales

CDG-DSM-SuperMarketMarket-CutWe told you that there would likely be a few last minute sale announcements this week, and we weren't wrong. Like the private JIMMY CHOO sale that went public today at Metropolitan Pavilion (through tomorrow the 5th), Several covetable labels made their sample plans know with only days and even hours to spare, but the big exciting news comes from COMME des GARÇONS who announced that their only-once-every-few-years blowout sale is coming back in a couple of weeks on May 20th for three days at Skylight Clarkson Square, a new venue for them that should hopefully be cavernous enough to mitigate the inevitable long lines that this event has generated in the past. The "Super-Market-Market" will be offering not only every brand user the Comme des Garçons umbrella (and there are always more of those than you think), but also DOVER STREET MARKET brands as well. We're not sure if this means DSM-labeled merchandise and specialty items like their housewares, or if this will be more of a warehouse sale meant to include clearance leftover merchandise from past seasons? Maybe it's a little of both? Either way is fine with us.

But back to this week. There's plenty to fill out your shopping schedule if you weren't already booked up.
Tomorrow, Thursday the 5th, brings a one-day GIAMBATTISTA VALLI sale in West Chelsea that is promising up to 80% off the popular couturier's ready-to-wear collections. It hasn't been fully specified, but we are guessing that the sale would include both the luxurious main collection as well as the more accessible and sporty Giamba line. 

Anyone looking for more prosaic fare should look for JAMES JEANS on Greenwich Street just north of Tribeca where denim for men and women will be 50% to 80% off from Thursday to Friday.

The other longtime seasonal fave happening tomorrow through Saturday is the Staff USA sale in Chelsea featuring the DSQUARED2, MAISON MARGIELA and MM➅ collections for men and women. Bargains aplenty have been known to be found at this event in the past, but novice shoppers should be warned that it is typically heavy on sample sizes. It is a veteran crowd-pleaser, so it's one worth getting up early for.

As always, find details and locations on our SALE ROLL sidebar at left where we do our best to update any other last-minute additions that we catch wind of.


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)


SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

Spring Contemporary Sales From J.Lindeberg, Sandro, Maje & More

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It's only a few weeks away from Regular retailers' first markdowns, so the Sample Sale schedule continues to heat up for the season. Here are this week's highlights:

It's a great week for trendy, contemporary brands with a continental edge, starting today with popular French sibling chains SANDRO (select items pictured above) and MAJE (select items pictured below). They will be sharing space at 260 Fifth Avenue featuring their signature sleek contemporary apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women.

Downtown at 150 Greene Street in SoHo,  J.LINDEBERG will be taking over the store only a few blocks from its New York flagship with its trend-driven menswear at up to 80% off offering an excellent opportunity for some fashionable menswear at nearly irresistible prices.

Still in SoHo, Franco-Japanese sibling brands PAS DE CALAIS for women and SAGE DE CRÊT for men will be taking over the basement of their boutique at Broome & Wooster for their seasonal sale featuring current and past season merchandise up to 80% off.

On Thursday, popular contemporary brand LAFAYETTE 148 will be relinquishing its showroom at, yes, 148 Lafayette Street for a 75% off sale of merchandise from the past Fall collections for two days only.

Walk over uptown a few blocks to NoHo and find find cult like New York label ZERO MARIA CORNEJO selling apparel, shoes and accessories at up to 75% off including Samples, one-of-a-kind items and regular stock.

Finally, Saturday shoppers can take a detour to Soiffer Haskin near Penn Station for 65% off IMPOLITE Jewelry just in time for Mothers' Day. A special selection of items will be specially proceed at 75% to 80% Off which should be incentive enough to get there early.

It's more than likely that more sales will be announced at the last minute before the end of the week, so keep an eye on our SALE ROLL sidebar for details on all sales. Next week, brace yourself for heavy hitters like Diesel, Rebecca Minkoff and AEFFE's seasonal European designer blowout.
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COSTUME DRAMA:

The Met Takes A Turn Toward The Technical With Manus x Machina

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Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, Lower Level Gallery View: Tailleur and Flou © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met Ball is tonight, and, for the first time, you will be able to watch the red carpet arrivals on E! just as if it were the Oscars or the Golden Globes. What with a splashy documentary about last year's blowout in theaters now, you might be forgiven for forgetting that this weekend, long after the gala detritus has been whisked away form the museum's galleries, there will be a exhibition opening, and this year's entry, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, is just a bit different from the lavish extravaganzas of past spring seasons.
The pre-publicity for the exhibition has put the emphasis on the "tech" of the title, which has been underscored by having Apple as a major sponsor, but the shoe is less about "wearable tech" than it is about how technology has shaped the clothes we wear, or maybe, as it focuses mainly on Haute Couture and extremely deluxe Ready-to-Wear, the clothes that just a select few of us wear —or sometimes just the clothes that models wear on the runway.
We aren't sure if the neoprene couture wedding gown by Chanel that sits at the center of the exhibition has ever been worn by anyone in real life, but it is the emblem of the exploration into the merging of cutting edge materials technology snd high fashion that is the concern at hand. In his remarks to the press previewing the exhibition this morning, Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute talked of re-evaluating the exalted status of hand-made objects versus the more mundane view of machine made products.
So the actual exhibition is not the grand, glamorous display we have seen in the past few years, though its emphasis on the inner workings of construction owes something to the recent Charles James retrospective which presented a surprising focus on the engineering structure of his famous sculptural ballgowns. Manus x Machina is a somewhat smaller affair contained entirely in the museum's Robert Lehman Wing which has been transformed into a gauzy white space by a striking arrangement of taut scrims designed by Shohei Shigematsu of OMA New York. Organized around the disciplines of Couture, it highlights the innovations that technology has made possible by juxtaposing vintage fashion with its modern counterparts made in materials that Coco Chanel and Christian Dior could not have dreamed of. See a vintage Chanel tweed suit alongside Karl Lagerfeld's 2015 versions made with an 3-D printed overlay that creates a quilted effect in a mix of high-tech, machine made materials and traditional hand-finished embroideries (pictured above). This is an opportunity for some of the most avant-garde designers to shine and shine they do, chief among them, Iris van Herpen, the Dutch designer who has made a name for herself by pioneering the use of cutting edge materials and 3-D printing to create ensembles that range from elegant to outlandish, but are never less than fascinating, especially when the museum delves into her unusual manufacturing techniques. This is one exhibition where reading the item descriptions really pays off as each item is described by which elements are handmade and which are made by machine. Also well represented is Japanese innovator Issey Miyake, whose famous pleated garments are shown alongside the gowns of the often overlooked Mary McFadden who pioneered the heat-pleating process to great commercial success in the 1970s and 80s, and Mariano Fortuny, whose technique for creating his early 20th Century pleated silk gowns remains a fiercely protected secret still held by his heirs. Also on view are Proenza Schouler's remarkable forays into fabric research, Raf Simons' elaborately constructed creations for Dior, Hussein Chalayan's mechanically automated dresses and more. It is a particularly scholarly detour for the Costume Institute, but it is encouraging to see that the museum is making a move away from some of the exhibitions of the past that had alluring themes but maybe not quite as much much depth as one might have hoped for (remember Punk? Superheroes?). This time, the flash is backed up with real substance.

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 5 through August 14th.


THIS WEEK ONLINE:

Max Mara, Billy Reid, Armani, Oscar de la Renta, TOMS, Valentino, Chloé, Nanette Lepore, Aquatalia & More

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

GILT GROUPE
Max Mara, Carven, Repetto, Foley & Corinna, Elie Tahari, Gucci, Billy Reid, Leonard & Church Watches, Berge Belts, John Varvatos, Soludos, Saint Laurent Eyewear, Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Joe's Jeans, Mikoh Swim, Jared Lang, J.Lindeberg Golf, Kenton Michael Bracelets, Robert Graham —join HERE
RUE LA LA
Salvatore Ferragamo, Charles Krypell Jewelry, Pandora, Hugo Boss, Piazza Sempione, Charles David/Bettye Muller, Max Mara, TKEES,  Gucci Watches, Aquaswiss, Marika, Villeroy & Boch, ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo, WeSC —join HERE
HAUTE LOOK
MARC by Marc Jacobs, Mara Hoffman, Kenzo Sun, Hickey Freeman, Oscar de la Renta, Aquatalia, Equipment, DL1961, Junk Food, Mason's, Halston Heritage, Blu Pepper, Lukka Lux, Lindbergh, TailorByrd, Andrew Christian, Heidi Klum Intimates, Elizabeth and James, Athena Footwear, Alternative Apparel, Da-Nang, Velvet by Graham & Spencer, TOMS, Jared Lang —join HERE
MY HABIT
Chloé, Nanette Lepore Swim, T.Tahari, Mara Hoffman, Silent Damir Doma, Perry Ellis, Valentino, Howe, The Kooples, Just Cavalli, Isaac Mizrahi, Puma, Tommy Bahama, Kenneth Cole, TOD's, Roibert Graham —join HERE

KATHERINE BERNARD GOES SHOPPING:

Insta-Dressing In SoHo Edition

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Photo by Emily Andrews for The New York Times

A new Critical Shopper has arrived at the Thursday Styles today. We don't know if Katherine Bernard will take over Molly Young's women's shopping duties permanently, but she does give us a respectable survey of the new Balmain boutique that quietly opened its doors earlier this month in SoHo. Don't worry if you are concerned that glittering label's thirst for publicity is starting to wane. The official opening party is scheduled as this year's Met Ball after-party on Monday night. Now you can picture the requisite Kardashian/West/Jenner extravaganza, and our shopper reminds us that it is almost impossible to make mention of the Balmain brand without also using the words Kardashian and Instagram. She also notes pointedly that Instagram followers do not necessarily translate into throngs of eager customers. Despite Balmain's social media following of multiple millions, the store is a quiet and serene environment in neutral shades of beige and black when she visits mostly because clicking 'like' and 'follow' are free, but owning single piece of Balmain apparel beyond a $365 t-shirt requires four figure investment at minimum. And what of those clothes? They are tight.

These clothes are honest. They hold you. My designer friend tells me that the fabric embrace comes from technically advanced four-way stretch. There’s pull and lift. There’s no darting or corseting, it’s just extremely special fabric.

Ultimately, the experience seems like a taste of fantasy, complete with a salesperson impersonating a paparazzo. For better or worse, Balmain and its once reserved designer Olivier Roustieng has thrown their lot in with social media stars and red carpet glitz. The rabid rush for last Fall's H&M collaboration collection proved that, so if runway walking  in glittery opulence is your aspiration (and within your means), your boutique has arrived.

Critical Shopper: The Balmain Army Steps Out By Katherine Bernard (NYTimes)
Balmain 100 Wooster Street between Spring & Prince Streets, SoHo


SALE ALERT:

Manolo Blahnik's Sample Sale Is Tomorrow

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Images: ManoloBlahnik.com


As per usual, the notice is last minute, but pro shoppers know to be prepared.
One of the pinnacles of the sample sale season, the MANOLO BLAHNIK sample sale has been confirmed to start tomorrow, April 27th at its usual Warwick Hotel home on the corner of 6th Avenue and 54th Street. Doors are set to open at 11 AM, which means you should start lining up at about the crack of dawn. Prices will start at $125. Generally, they top out at about $500- $600 for extravagances like alligator or ostrich skin boots. Bring CASH ONLY. No plastic or mobile payment.
As always, beware of aggressive shoe maniacs. If you have been there before, you know what to expect. If you haven't, brace yourself. this is one of the biggies. See our SALE ROLL at left for details, and good shopping luck to you.