NEW YORK — Friday the 13th may be an inauspicious day for some, but Olive & Bette’s owner, Stacey Pecor, sees it as lucky.
That’s why she’s chosen to open her fourth and largest Olive & Bette’s store today at 384 Bleecker Street here.
“It’s really girly and quirky, exactly what you’d expect from us,” said Pecor of the decor. “It feels like you’re walking into your closet, but this time we have incorporated more prints.”
The 1,000-square-foot boutique follows the company’s girlish blueprint with bold pink striped walls, a floor covered in baby blue tile, zebra-walled fitting rooms with contrasting floral curtains and girl-power sayings painted on the mirrors, such as “So Stylish” and “Hi Gorgeous.”
“We’re getting in on the ground floor at Bleecker Street,” explained Pecor of her choice of location. The other Olive & Bette’s boutiques are located on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and in SoHo. “It’s perfect for us as a retailer because we’re so good at [cultivating] a neighborhood clientele; our customers live around here, and the area attracts tourists.”
The street has undergone a significant change over the last several years, with specialty stores and boutiques opening up shops in droves.
“We also have fantastic neighbors like Robert Marc, Ralph Lauren, Lulu Guinness, Cynthia Rowley, Intermix and Marc Jacobs,” enthused Pecor. “It’s a fabulous group of retailers, and I just thought the area could use a store like Olive & Bette’s.”
The store features labels such as Theory, Autumn Cashmere, Splendid, Michael Stars, Ella Moss, Velvet, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Generra, Christopher Fischer, Seven, James, Free People, Nanette Lepore and Whim. Footwear and accessories collections include Red Luggage, Tamara Henriques, Frank & Kahn, Magpie and Danielle Stevens. In order to give the boutique a personalized feel, Pecor commissioned T-shirt company Jake’s Dry Goods to custom-make special Ts, which retail for $35 and say things such as, “Bleecker Street Bakery” and “Soho Inn.”
“My customers are those moms walking around pushing strollers,” added Pecor. “Our clothes are casual and wearable. We’re not the first store on the block carrying a specific designer or style. And we’re not pretending that we are, either.”Retail prices range from $35 to $78 for Ts, $175 to $195 for shirts, $250 to $390 for cashmere knits, $180 to $270 for bottoms, $300 to $450 for jackets and $60 to $154 for shoes.
Business has been growing exponentially for the $10 million company and Pecor estimates first-year sales for the Bleecker location will hit $1.5 million.
“We’re on an incredible roll; it’s been a really exciting year for us,” said Pecor. “Margins are really healthy, the terms quick, our vendors are better than ever. The fall looks are amazing and are selling well. The reaction from consumers is incredible. They’re buying tweed jackets, sweaters and corduroys.”
As far as opening additional stores, Pecor says the plan for now is to focus on the Bleecker Street shop and the company’s e-commerce Web site. “After that,” Pecor pondered, “who knows?”
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