NEW YORK — Joe Fresh is planting deeper roots in Manhattan.
After opening in November a 9,800-square-foot unit in the Flatiron District, the brand on March 30 will unveil a 14,000-square-foot flagship at 510 Fifth Avenue.
Response to Joe Fresh, which hails from Canada, has been encouraging enough to warrant the flagship, said Joseph Mimran, founder of Joseph Mimran & Assoc., who created Joe Fresh five years ago. Mimran launched Club Monaco in 1985 and sold it to Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1999. “Not only have New Yorkers and Americans shown interest in Joe Fresh, we’ve been getting response from the international market” with interested parties in Germany, the Middle East, the Philippines, Korea and China. “That’s the power of New York,” Mimran said. “It’s absolutely a window to the world. I could be in Canada for 20 years and not hear from anyone. I come to New York for three months and the phones are ringing off the hook.”
Differences between New York and Canadian consumers include a stronger appetite for fashion in New York. “We will certainly be upping the amount of fashion moving forward,” he said. “And we have to educate consumers about our fit, particularly in bottoms.” Joe Fresh in Canada is carried at more than 300 Loblaws Real Canadian Superstores and 12 stand-alone and studio stores.
Besides the Flatiron store, Joe Fresh has been operating a pop-up shop on Madison Avenue and East 80th Street. Mimran said he’s considering a permanent unit on the Upper East Side. “We’re moving toward our goal of becoming embedded in the New York market,” he said.
E-commerce in the U.S. “is a very important part of our strategy,” Mimran said, adding that it will bow late this year or early next.
In keeping with the building’s Fifties origins, the two-level Joe Fresh flagship at Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street has reflective ceilings, marble columns and terrazzo floors. A 70-foot-long gilded screen by sculptor Harry Bertoia, which had been part of the building, was refurbished and installed behind the cash wrap. Products will have a little more room to breathe in the flagship, particularly men’s, which doesn’t have a lot of room on lower Fifth Avenue, Mimran said.
To promote the flagship, Joe Fresh advertising will overtake the Times Square subway station, along with outdoor ads and TV spots. “We’re confident and committed to our New York and U.S. strategies,” Mimran said. “We’re getting our fair share of business in Manhattan. Our goal is to make sure we’re positioned correctly. We’ll tweak the model as we grow the business. We’re very patient and realistic in terms of our expectations.”
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