JON CARAMANICA GOES SHOPPING:

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CLEARANACE UPDATE:

2 Floors Closed Already
At Takashimaya

LONG DREADED OPENINGS:

Crocs Finally Arrives In SoHo

CROCSsoho

The first thing you notice is the smell.

That can't be a good sign, but that's what immediately hits you when you first enter the new Crocs store in SoHo. But then, you may be one of those people for whom that acrid, synthetic, plastic-y odor means a brand-new pair of Crocs! They're like a new car for your feet! Of course, you probably wouldn't be reading this blog, if that were the case, but just go with it.

CROCSsoho-1 Sometimes it seems that there are two kinds of people who wear shoes: Those who revel in the spongy comfort and bright colors of Crocs, and those who find them to be a fashion abomination and would like nothing better than to see every pair tossed into a giant bonfire of the hideous footwear.

Guess which kind The Shophound is.

Hey, it's a free country. If you want to walk around in shoes that make your feet look like giant fluorescent beans just because they are comfortable, then we would advise strongly against it purely out of aesthetic concerns, but we can't stand in your way.CROCSsoho-2 Enough people seem to want to make this choice that Crocs have grown into a huge company with  millions of presumably satisfied customers, and now, after perhaps the longest store renovation we can think of —three and a half years!— the Crocs boutique has finally opened at the corner of Spring and Wooster Streets. What we found inside, aside from the distinctive aroma, really isn't much different than what you'll find at the Crocs boutique on Columbus Avenue that opened a couple of years ago: lots of plastic clogs in all different colors, and then some other slightly less offensive styles for men and women, none that we would actually call attractive, but many which are relatively innocuous.

CROCSsohowindow On the plus side, they have renovated a relatively broken down building that previously held a burger and barbecue joint. It's a perfectly fine refurbishment, but its hard for us to judge because the place is FILLED WITH CROCS, and we think the smell is really getting to us. The renovations took such an incredibly long time that at one point we had wondered if the company had abandoned the project due to some business troubles it was experiencing last year. Perhaps, we thought, a less irksome tenant would take over the lease, but we should have known better. We suspect that those clogs can sit in a landfill for decades without the slightest decomposition, and it appears that the company and the demand for its products are equally resilient. It looks like Crocs will be with us for a while

Crocs 143 Spring Street at Wooster Street, SoHo

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