By Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, The Retail Group,
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
After one of the most beautiful summers I can recall, everyone is now facing the most important time of year (at least in my beloved retail sector): the fourth quarter.
As I write this in early September, we also are in the midst of Fashion Week, which will give a hint not just of how retail will do for the holidays, but also what retailers we may see in the not-too-distant future.
After attending some half-dozen shows, I can report that luxe is certainly back in style.
Eveningwear, and anything lavish and embellished were particularly impressive. It appears that designers (and the consumer) finally are a bit more comfortable about the global economic recovery, and the clothes are ready to celebrate.
I expect healthy sales in the months to come, based on this and current economic news. Though analysts were a bit disappointed with the number of new jobs in August, the overall unemployment rate of 6.1 percent is not bad, and other predictors such as auto sales are positive indicators for the months to come.
According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book, New York’s sales were on plan for most of the summer, with back-to-school sales finally picking up in August. Tourism remains strong, with Broadway attendance and revenues up roughly 13 percent year-over-year. And what do all those attendees do between shows? They shop.
Based on Fashion Week, we should have many more new stores for our visitors to check out in coming years.
The other major impression I took from my visits was the number and exceptional talent of new designers. If they follow the usual pattern, these fresh faces will have their designs in our department stores and fashion-forward boutiques, and then open their own shops a couple of years later (they know where to find me for help).
Fashion, as always, renews itself, and it’s a privilege to be part of the process!
Other retail also is opening around town. German designer Philipp Plein has opened his first New York City boutiques at 625 Madison Avenue. Bibliophiles rejoice! Rizzoli, which closed its beloved 57th Street location earlier this year, has found a new home at 1133 Broadway, the St. James Building. Best of all, reports say that this townhome can accommodate many of the fixtures from the previous store.
Homestories brings furnishings and design to 148 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. Menswear retailer Crow Philosophy soon will have a new home at 15 Gansevoort Street. Continuing with new haberdashers, Canada’s Indochino made its New York City debut at 435 Broome Street earlier this month.
Designer Victor de Souza’s pop-up boutique opened at 1890 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. Moe’s Sneaker Spot will take a permanent home at the same address.
The fall calendar also is kicking into high gear. On Friday, October 10, I will moderate a panel of leading real estate journalists at the “Meet the Press” session at the Academy of Continuing Education’s Fall Conference. Editors and reporters from the Commercial Observer, Crain’s New York Business, New York Daily News, Mortgage Observer, New York Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal will join me from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the President’s Room of the New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South.
These are some of the best observers of our industry around, and it should be a spirited and informative session! For more information, visit www.realestateacademy.com
I’m excited to once again moderate NYCREW’s Industry Spotlight on the “The Women Leading New York’s Real Estate Families, Take Three” to be held Wednesday, October 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Women’s National Republican Club, 3 West 51st Street, New York City.
Joining me will be Archie Gottesman, Co-Owner and Chief Branding Officer of Edison Properties; Shari Goodstein Rossi, Partner at Goodstein Organization; and Laurie Zucker, Vice Chairman of Zucker Organization. This is always one of NYCREW’s most popular panels, and is a personal favorite. For more information about these and other NYCREW events, please visit www.nycrew.org.