By Sarah Trefethen
The designer discounter Daffy’s will be closing its doors across the city this fall as part of a company-wide liquidation, Women’s Wear Daily has reported.
The retail chain’s New York City stores include 18,000 s/f in Atlantic Terminal, across the street from the soon-to-open Barclay’s Center Arena, as well as two 57th Street addresses and a 17,000 s/f flagship on 44th Street off of Times Square.
Daffy’s demise is no reflection on the company’s real estate portfolio, according to Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s retail group.
“It has nothing to do with the locations; it has to do with their operation. They got pushed out by competition,” she said.
Storefronts vacated by Daffy’s won’t be empty long, Consolo predicted. The space in Atlantic Terminal presents an opportunity for a retailer to join Marshall’s, Victoria Secret and Target in an up-and-coming shopping destination, or for one of the current tenants to expand.
“Atlantic Terminal is really a discount shopper’s paradise,” said Consolo, noting the proximity to Flatbush Avenue, the subway and Long Island Railway. “They have seven-day-a-week shopping — it’s just traffic, traffic, traffic.”
The company’s eight spots in Manhattan will also appeal to rival discounters Burlington Coat Factory and the TJX divisions, such as Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, she said, and some of the spaces could be converted to large, family-style restaurants.
“Obviously, I think it presents an opportunity for numerous retailers,” said Chase Welles, executive vice president at Northwest Atlantic real Estate Services and chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York’s retail committee. “That much space in the city is hard to find.”
Daffy’s struggles may be attributable to its attempts to expand its urban success into suburban markets, Welles said, and they may have struggled because “they took that multi-level thing to the extreme.”
Whatever the cause, Welles is confident Daffy’s demise is no reflection on the discount retail sector.
“Discount retail is strong. I think the success of Marshalls and T.J. Maxx is evidence of that,” he said.