Juicy Couture is abandoning Madison Avenue, reflecting hard times and high rents along the posh Manhattan retail venue.
The division of Liz Claiborne Inc. has been paying $2 million in annual rent for its two-level, 3,300-square-foot store at Madison and 70th Street.
“It’s been a lot to pay,” said Edgar Huber, Juicy Couture’s president. “The lease was signed at the height of commercial real estate in New York. Landlords will have to bring down prices. Nobody will be willing to pay them.”
Madison Avenue is already blotted with vacancies and retailers ready to pack up and leave. There are 49 locations available from 59th to 79th streets, including 20 vacancies and 29 sites where retailers want out, according to Robert K. Futterman & Associates, retail real estate brokers.
Rents on Madison remain high, though they have begun to decline. As of last spring, rents were down 8 percent to $979 per square foot from $1,066 in 2008, according to the Real Estate Board of New York.
In addition to the rent, Juicy Couture’s business on Madison has been hurt by slower customer traffic as consumers pull back on apparel purchases. In addition, the brand, known for its upscale, girly, contemporary clothes, opened a glitzy flagship on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street.
“People prefer the big store on Fifth Avenue, which is doing extremely well,” Huber said. “The Madison location became a neighborhood store, not a high-traffic store. It was never extremely strong for us. It’s important to have a store on Madison. It’s prestigious, but $2 million [in rent] is too high. Our average transaction is not as high as our neighbors.”
Huber said the Madison Avenue closing is “an exception” to the company’s strategy of opening stores. The location is being marketed by Juicy Couture and its brokers.
“We are disappointed to hear about Juicy Couture,” said Matthew Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District. Although Juicy has declining traffic, Bauer said based on what he’s heard from retailers, pedestrian traffic in May was higher than a year ago, while June seemed flat. “Pedestrian figures I think are stabilizing,” he said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty