Does experiential retailing play better on the Great, White Way?
Krispy Kreme last week announced plans to open a 4,500 square feet, 24-hour Times Square outpost next year that will feature the “world’s largest Hot Light” neon sign and allow visitors to see the end-to-end doughnut making process.
Diners will enjoy fresh donuts “in the world’s largest Krispy Kreme doughnut box with stadium-style seating.” The location will also sell exclusive merchandise that celebrates both New York City and the brand.
The store will take over space formerly occupied by Hershey’s Chocolate World, which moved into a larger space nearby. Said Michael Tattersfield, Krispy Kreme’s CEO, in a statement, “In the most iconic city in the world, the Krispy Kreme Times Square flagship will showcase our brand on the global stage and inspire customer wonder.”
Times Square hasn’t been immune to the vacancy challenges facing New York City. Rents for Times Square stores average $2,000 per square foot, down from a peak of $2,300 in 2015, according to a New York Times article from May.
But Times Square has fared better than most other corridors as it taps into the experiential trend and due to its tourist traffic. About 380,000 pedestrians walk through Times Square daily, and as many as 450,000 on the busiest days, according to Times Square Alliance.
Other recent high-profile Times Square openings include:
- McDonald’s in May opened its largest location in the city featuring floor-to-ceiling glass walls across three levels and the third largest billboard in Times Square.
- Covergirl last November opened a two-story flagship that includes a booth for customers to make a 10-second video of themselves set to music, and mirrors equipped with artificial intelligence to test makeup.
- Levi’s also last November opened its largest store to date that features the brand’s most comprehensive customization options.
One ambitious mixed-use renovation project, TSX Broadway, aiming for a 2022 opening is expected to feature a theater, hotel, shopping center, outdoor stage and an LED billboard stretching 18,000-square-foot.
“You have to do something that is memorable,” Andrew Essex, a consultant on the project told The New York Times. “And that’s where things get exciting.”
- KRISPY KREME Opening Times Square Flagship in 2020 – Krispy Kreme/Business Wire
- Times Square Alliance
- Visit Times Square? These Projects Want You to Experience It – The New York Times
- Take a Look at our new Times Square Restaurant Design – McDonald’s
- Manhattan Retail Rents Continue to Slide Everywhere Except Times Square, Union Square – Commercial Observer
- Retail rents are falling in most of Manhattan’s top shopping corridors – Crain’s New York
- COVERGIRL Opens Times Square Flagship Store – Covergirl
- Levi’s Opens Largest-Ever Flagship Store in Times Square – Levi’s
- Manhattan Retail Rents Continue to Slide but Could Turn a Corner – Commercial Observer
- Times Square stands tall as retail rents slip across Manhattan – The Real Deal
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does the consumer desire for experiences offer more opportunities in tourist destinations such as Times Square than in other locations that do not have the same attractions? Will Krispy Kreme benefit from a Times Square flagship?