This bit of news might have been easily missed since it was announced just before Christmas last year, but The Conran Shop is giving up its riverfront glass house on the East Side for a Flatiron loft at ABC Carpet & Home. To that end, they are currently running a great, big Moving Sale through the end of March with items at 50% to 75% off, including lots of furniture and other design items.
Starting in April, Conran's will be relocated to an 8,500 square foot space in ABC's flagship at 888 Broadway at 19th Street. The reduced square footage will mean the store is shedding quite a few product categories including Bed & Bath, Children's, Kitchen and most of the smaller gift items found in glass cases in its current store. Of course, this constitutes much of what made the store an interesting destination in the first place, but such sacrifices must be made for a better location.
The Conran Shop opened to much fanfare 10 years ago as part of a rejuvenation of the plaza underneath the 59th Street Bridge that included The Food Emporium's Bridgemarket flagship store and Guastavino's, now an event space, but initially a restaurant run by Sir Terence Conran and named for the architect who designed the landmarked vaulted space.
From the beginning, the design store was in a striking, but difficult location that never attracted the kind of foot traffic needed to make it a vital stop for Manhattan shoppers. That should change at ABC, though now, The Conran Shop will be one of many departments under one roof including Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Blu Dot, Frette, Hästens and several other leased areas of various sizes throughout the vast store. We're not sure that this is what Sir Terence ultimately had in mind when he decided to return to the U.S. 10 years ago, but trade-offs have to be made to survive a still challenging retail climate.
A bigger question is who will move into the soon to be available space by the bridge? The swooping greenhouse-like pavilion could still become a dramatic setting for some brave retailer, but who exactly might that be?
The Conran Shop (Official Site)