Retailers Land on Times Square
By Tom Ryan
While the revelers around Times Square screamed as the ball dropped
on New Years Eve, more than a few retailers were hoping they’d notice their
sparkling, new flagship stores in the area. Daffy’s, the women’s apparel discount
chain, recently became the latest retailer to sign a lease in the revitalized
The area in the not-too-recent past had been known for crime,
drugs and peep theaters. But a major revitalization during the eighties and
nineties has transformed it into a tourist mecca and viable retail destination.
which operates 19 stores largely in the New York metropolitan region, is planning
on opening a 28,000-square-foot store on West 44th Street between Seventh and
Eighth avenues, the former home of The New York Times, according
to Crain’s New York. It plans on adding a total of 14 New York-area
stores before 2015 with a goal to expand nationally.
An article in The Wall
Street Journal said the area has become a “discount
fashion center” with Daffy’s opening to come after Forever 21 last June
opened up a massive 90,000 square feet location in a former Virgin Records
location. American Eagle Outfitters, Aeropostale as well as Walt Disney have
also opened flagships around Times Square in the past year. In late 2008, Walgreen’s
opened a location at one Times Square featuring a digital billboard soaring
341 feet above the street on three sides of the building. Other stores in the
area include a Toys ‘R’ Us (including a Ferris wheel), Foot Locker, Modell’s,
Sephora, Swatch and Billabong as well as attractions such as MTV’s studios,
Bubba Gump Shrimp and Hershey’s.
Retail space in the area now commands an average
rent of $1,600 per square foot, up from $550 per square foot a decade ago,
Victor Canalog, director of research at Reis Inc., a real-estate research firm,
told the Journal.
The Journal article notes that the new retailers
cater to tourists “looking
for New York fashion at middle-America prices and suburban teens flocking to
the city for shopping sprees.” Foot traffic from nearby office buildings
and new apartments that have been developed in the area in recent years are
also supporting retail traffic. About 365,000 people stream through the neighborhood
on a daily basis, an 8 percent increase over year-ago levels, according to
the Times Square Alliance.
“It mirrors the development of the neighborhood as well as the willingness
of retailers to have storefront space in the densest central business district
in the country,” Mr. Canalog told the Journal.
Discussion Questions: What value do you put on having flagships in major
tourist-traffic areas such as Times Square? Which type of retailers benefit
most/least from having such as flagship location?
- Daffy’s in Times
Square Debut – The Wall Street Journal
- Daffy’s kicks off expansion with Times Square store – Crain’s New
- Forever 21 Times Square Braces for Crowds – The Wall Street Journal