By  on March 15, 2005

NEW YORK — Mexx is leaving its home on Union Square in favor of a trendier, albeit smaller, spot in SoHo, adjacent to Bloomingdale’s.

The store, with 3,700 square feet of selling space at 500 Broadway, will open in July, while the 10,000-square-foot store at 19 Union Square will be shuttered in mid-April.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. will take over the Union Square lease, near a Diesel store and a dorm for New York University.

Liz Claiborne Inc. acquired the Dutch Mexx Group in May 2001 and has made dual use of the business, revamping its operations in Europe to support other Claiborne brands, such as Lucky Brand and Ellen Tracy, and introducing Mexx specialty stores to the U.S.

“Broadway is arguably one of the hottest and fastest growing areas in SoHo right now,” said Claiborne executive vice president Trudy Sullivan in a statement. “The Mexx brand, with its international appeal and trendy styling, is well positioned to take advantage of the eclectic group of visitors and residents who shop in SoHo every day.”

Mexx will renovate the store, which is currently empty, adding a European feel while retaining the character of the building with exposed brick walls and its original columns.

Mexx’s first U.S. outpost opened in September 2003 at 650 Fifth Avenue and was followed by the Union Square store a month later. There are seven Mexx stores in the U.S., a presence that is expected to grow with additional doors in the Northeast.

A relative newcomer to the U.S. market, Mexx is looking to broaden its brand recognition with an approach that includes the stores, significant outdoor advertising and a recently launched credit card program.

In other Mexx news, Amy Shecter, who was vice president and general manager of the brand’s U.S. business, left the company and was replaced by Barry Zelman, who had been vice president and general manager of Liz Claiborne Woman, in January.

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