The operating rules of enormous department store chains have changed a lot in the past decade. Once relegated to the suburbs, outlet and clearance divisions have inched ever closer to major full-line shopping neighborhoods, with the latest example being a great big Nordstrom Rack store set to open in about a month at 855 Sixth Avenue at 31st Street, just a few blocks south of Macy's Herald Square and the sprawling collection of mall-stores that spill across the stretch of 34th street west of Fifth Avenue.
A glance at the windows pictured above tells us that the store will open its doors in about a month on October 26th, and if it looks like it will be pretty big with the entirety of the first two floors of the new building, consider that with the lower level as well, the store will total about 47,000 square feet over three floors. That makes it one of the larger Rack stores around, especially in a location like Manhattan where space is always at a premium.
It has been decades since a major out of town retailer has attempted to crack Manhattan's powerhouse ranks of home-grown retail palaces, but as once sterling names like Gimbel's, Bonwit Teller, B.Altman and Abraham & Straus have fallen over the years, there's a little more room for more competition now. JCPenney of Plano TX, has only managed to get in with an innocuous subterranean location taking up a mere fraction of the building that once housed the entirety of the mighty Gimbel's, but the pride and joy of Dallas, Neiman Marcus, is on its way with an unconventional store in a yet to be completed Hudson Yards tower. The big event on deck, however is Nordstrom's Columbus Circle flagship slated for 2019. The chain has managed to slyly whet New Yorkers' appetites first by taking on the suburbs surrounding the tri-state area where it is now a mainstay. Next, it made Manhattan safe for Department Stores' outlet divisions by opening a Rack unit where the Union Square Virgin Megastore once stood, paving the way for a Saks Off 5th appearing on tony East 57th Street, a once unthinkable location for such an establishment, only seven blocks north of its lavish full-price namesake. Before the splashy Nordstrom flagship debuts, however, its 3-level Men's Store will serve as an extended preview when it opens across Broadway this coming Spring. By the time the Mother ship opens its doors, Manhattanites should be chomping at the bit as if it is one of our own illustrious chains. As for the upcoming Rack, its sheer size suggests that it will be just like the Rack stores we have come to know, but bigger, which outlet shoppers know, is almost always better. By now we all know that most of what these stores carry is either overstock or merchandise made expressly for selling in "outlet" venues. That doesn't mean that they aren't worth your shopping dollars, and Nordstrom Rack at least makes the effort to specially tag items that have indeed come from their full-line stores. It's never a bad idea to catch the opening weeks of such a store either, as off-price chains have been known to pepper their opening offerings with particularly enticingly priced merchandise to ingratiate themselves with new customers. If you happen to have a reason to make your way through the Herald and Greely Square neighborhoods in about a month, you might find yourself making a habit of it.
The rate at which brutal hurricanes have been making landfall this season has been alarming to say the least, and while we seem to be relatively protected here in New York City (so far, anyway) you can't ignore the devastation which recalls our own experience with Superstorm Sandy a few years ago, but magnified to a horrifying degree. Designer Marcia Patmos is doing her part this week by joining with a group of other like-minded fashion folk to announce a one-day-only multi-designer sample sale to benefit relief efforts for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, probably Maria and whoever else is to come before the season's end.
On Wednesday, September 20th at Project No. 8's Orchard Street shop the sale will run from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and will include merchandise from New York designers and stores like Daryl K, À Detacher, Zero Maria Cornejo, Saturdays NYC, INA, Creatures of Comfort among others along with M.Patmos, of course. Drinks are promised after 6 as well as a live DJ set and other entertainments. A full list of participants can be found in the flyer pictured above along with a list of recipients who will receive 100% of the proceeds. Consider it a great way to give assistance to people in desperate need and, as an added plus, you probably won't have to hear anyone sing "Hallelujah" one more time. That alone is worth showing up for.
It's been a little slow on the sale front for the past few weeks as the regular designer sales peter off at Summer's end, but we still have a few more days of the season left, and this week reminds us that even when the ready-to-wear sale cycle is in a downturn, there are always sales that will pick up the slack.
This week, savvy shoe shoppers will be streaming to the Warwick Hotel starting on Tuesday for CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA's sale which is promising a hefty 70% discount on her signature shoes and handbags.
On Wednesday, the Chelsea Market will off a dual sale on seasonless goods from two popular brands. SFERRA, the esteemed Italian bed and bath brand will selling its sumptuous sheets and towels alongside RIEDEL's precisely crafted stem and crystalware.
If you can hold out until Sunday, you will be prepared for LORO PIANA's seasonal extravaganza at Soiffer Haskin. Luxury fans know this as a chance to get some magnificent cashmere sweaters and scarves for prices that are only about half as jaw-draping as usual. Prepare to surrender all of your personal belongings while you shop.
It's been a rough road for the beloved downtown emporium Pearl River Mart which was forced out of its multi-level SoHo home (pictured right) with what so many city retailers continuer to face, a massive rent hike. It has been a few years since then, and while the company opened an outpost in Tribeca last fall, a new location in the Chelsea Market with a 15-year lease will receive the benefit of the kind of teeming shopping crowds it used to find regularly in SoHo when it opens later this year. The new store will be 3,500 square feet and along with the familiar mix of Asian products the store is promising special food events, performances and other cultural activities.
Anyone who hasn't visited Manhattan's original food hall will discover that over the summer it has grown by opening up a whole new floor downstairs, an while we don't yet know the specific location of the new store, there is a lot more space for new businesses in the building. According to DNAinfo, Pearl River Mart will be joining a new yet to be named farm-to-table restaurant with an adjacent furniture store from chef John Doherty of Tribeca's Black Barn restaurant and Mark Zeff of the apparently unrelated interior store BLACKBARN Shop. Both ventures are expected to open later this fall, so while the Meatpacking District a block or so south seems to be suffering from a lack of excitement, the Chelsea Market itself looks like it will continue to be a major draw in the neighborhood.
UNIQLO x JW Anderson Arrives Next Week With Christophe Lemaire's Next UNIQLO U Delivery On Its Heels
It's a good few weeks coming up for Uniqlo fans as more of the Japanese mega-chain's renowned collaborations will be hitting the sales floor. The long running Ines de la Fressange collaboration arrived in stores last month including her first pieces for men, but next week, fans will be lining up for one of the most anticipated team-ups of the season with editorial darling JW Anderson (pictured above). While designer Jonathan Anderson should have his hands full designing for both his own signature label as well as Spanish luxury brand Loewe, he is no stranger to the high/low collaboration with a couple of Topshop capsules under his belt already. The Uniqlo line takes things to a new level, including a full menswear assortment and a much larger production run to satisfy the chain's vast store count. Look for updated twists on classic British heritage looks like bold tartans, technicolor fair isles and classic trench coats in up-to-the minute proportions. Prices will fall in a wallet-friendly zone ranging from $14.90 to 149.90 for outerwear pieces, and while Anderson is known for some avant-garde runway statements, the capsule collection shows that he equally adept at translating his vision to more accessible looks without losing his special touch. he collection will be available online late Thursday evening on September 21st and in the chain's Flagship stores on the 22nd. That store lineup includes the three New York flagships on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street and Broadway in Soho along with Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Newbury Street in Boston, Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Tyson's Corner in Northern Virginia, Beverly Center in LA, Union Square in San Francisco and a soon to open store in Santa Anita California. See a preview of each item in the collection with prices HERE.
Thats not all. Faithful customers will be relieved to know that the Fall delivery of the UNIQLO U collection designed by Christophe Lemaire (pictured above and below) will become available only a couple of weeks after the Anderson collection hits. Spun off from the Uniqlo x Lemaire a few seasons ago, the line features more of the chain's advanced basics featuring its most technologically developed materials and designs from its own dedicated design studio in Paris. This season, look for more of the line's expertly engineered knitwear, updated down outerwear, Blocktech trenches and perfectly proportioned tees. Full, billowing trousers will be available for both men and women along with accessories all in an earthy color range. Online availability will start at 9 PM ET on October 5th with select styles hitting all stores the next day, and the complete collection only at Flagship stores. Click HERE for a preview of the line, and then set your alarms, because we all know the best pieces go fast.