Madewell is coming to Manhattan sooner than expected with a temporary store opening Wednesday at 532 Broadway in SoHo.
It's a move to capitalize on holiday selling, in advance of Madewell's permanent, two-level, 2,650-square-foot location at 486 Broadway at Broome Street, also in SoHo, which has experienced some construction delays. It's now targeting a late January or February opening.
But there's been enormous curiosity surrounding Madewell, and a sense of urgency at J. Crew Group Inc., parent of J. Crew, Madewell and Crewcuts.
"We realized just two weeks ago that 486 Broadway wasn't going to happen until sometime at the end of January or February. So we didn't want to take the risk of not having a store before the holidays," said Millard "Mickey" Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group. "We made this decision really fast."
The 2,000-square-foot temporary location will remain open until the permanent Madewell store is ready for business. J. Crew won't advertise the temporary Madewell site, and doesn't feel the need. "New York is a viral fashion community as powerful as any viral community anywhere," Drexler said. "That's why we love doing things in New York."
Launched in fall 2006, Madewell has six stores offering an edgier take on casual clothes, and is inspired by the former New Bedford, Mass., workwear company that bore the Madewell label. The closest Madewell store to Manhattan is in the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey.
J. Crew said the temporary Madewell shop will provide a preview of the collection and several of the more popular-selling items, such as garment-dyed jeans, priced $110; leather "heritage" boots, priced $288; suede flat boots, $268; graphic Ts, from $25 to $35, and scarves, from $38 to $52.
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