NEW YORK — Some signs of normalcy began to return to the New York metropolitan region on Monday, a week after Hurricane Sandy tore through the area, although Staten Island, Long Island and areas of New Jersey remained devastated with power still out and relief efforts ongoing.
Lower Manhattan was heavily impacted by the storm surge on Oct. 29. “Things are a lot better than they seem,” said Daniel Ackerman, chief of staff of the Downtown Alliance.
“A lot of our district is back to normal,” said Nicole Kolinsky, a spokeswoman for the Downtown Alliance. “The first day [of the storm] there was no power so a vast majority of retailers were closed. More and more businesses open every single hour. The A [subway line] was just restored today. The only line that’s still not running is the G line.” RELATED STORY: Fashion, Retail, Media Firms Step Up Sandy Relief Efforts >>
Businesses at the South Street Seaport have not yet opened, and the South Ferry Terminal, which was severely flooded, remains closed.
“In terms of the level of devastation, we made out very well,” Kolinsky said.
Century 21, the off-price department store on Cortlandt Street in the Financial District, will return to normal operating hours today. Century 21 lost power on Oct. 29 and while power was restored Nov. 1, it didn’t have enough staff to open the store, said an employee. Since Nov. 2, Century 21 has been operating on a curtailed hurricane schedule, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rather than 7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The major discount stores were up and running as of Sunday or Monday. Target said all stores in the affected area had reopened as of Monday, while Wal-Mart stores were all open as of Sunday.
“The World Financial Center actually fared very well,” said Matthew Cherry, a spokesman for Brookfield Properties. “There was only a very brief period when power was out; it was cut preemptively on Monday, Oct. 29, as a precautionary measure.” Traffic at the WFC was “certainly lighter,” Cherry said, “considering a lot of people couldn’t get down here because the subways weren’t running.”
Some retailers are moving past Sandy and looking ahead to the holidays. While Sears still has five stores shuttered, Tom Aiello, divisional vice president, said the retailer will open at 8 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day and stay open overnight until 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Kmart stores on Thanksgiving Day will open at 6 a.m. local time until 4 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Black Friday. Kmart will reopen on Black Friday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Both retailers will be closed Christmas Day. “At Sears we didn’t do this last year,” Aiello said, adding that the change was in response to shoppers, who wanted more flexibility and options to shop doorbusters.
The supply chain’s impact on holiday sales is a concern. “The impact seems to increase exponentially the longer the ports remain shut down,” said John Martin, principal of Martin Associates, a maritime consultant. “New York facilities are significantly damaged or closed down,” he said. “There may be damage in warehouses or distribution centers housing holiday merchandise. All the fast fashion will be clearly impacted. You’re filling orders for hot items. If you don’t have sufficient inventory,” you’ll lose sales.
The gas shortage is also complicating the situation. “You’re going to have gas, but the time it takes to fill up could reduce trucking time by 25 percent,” Martin said. “That will affect distribution to stores, especially as we approach Black Friday. We have two-and-a-half weeks to work out the kinks.”
More than supply chain issues, Dave Marcotte, senior vice president of retail insight at Kantar Retail, sees other factors impacting the holiday season. “People aren’t working,” he said. “People are cautious and people don’t have a house to live in.”
On Monday, a message from the Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security was a reminder of more bad weather on the way, with a major nor’easter expected to hit the East Coast. “The storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon throughout the night until Thursday morning,” the office said.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion