NEW YORK — Brooks Brothers opened its fourth store in Manhattan last weekend—a 9,300-square-foot jewel box in the shadow of Lincoln Center.
The two-level unit, in a new residential building on the corner of 65th and Broadway, joins the Madison Avenue flagship, a unit at Fifth and 53rd and 1 Liberty Plaza downtown. It is the smallest of the four, which cuts down on the selection it can offer, but is expected to do the same volume—around $1,000 a square foot—according to Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks’ CEO.
“The area is really [booming],” he told DNR in an interview last week. “There are a lot of luxury apartments being built and it’s attracting a younger crowd. So what better way to get that crowd and to service our existing customers than by opening a store there?”
The unit boasts the company’s latest prototype design, which includes a rotunda inside the front door, decorative corbels, vaulted ceiling coves, eight-foot mahogany wood panels below stark white ceilings, leather club chairs, Chinese porcelain vases, wool and sisal carpeting, and antique furnishings sprinkled throughout. “We’re trying to mix more real pieces of furniture, so it looks less artificial and calculated,” said Paul Sadowski, director of visual merchandising. About half of Brooks’ existing store base has now been renovated to this design, he said, and all new units sport the look.
Two-thirds of the Upper West Side store is devoted to men’s wear. The main floor is an extensive men’s shirt and tie department, which Del Vecchio believes will “do a lot of replenishment business.” An escalator leads customers past vintage photos of the store and its founding family into the men’s sportswear department. Tailored clothing, including a Golden Fleece made-to-measure department, as well as women’s wear is merchandised here. Although some accessories and ties will be offered, the vast majority of the Black Fleece collection, the company’s highest-priced line, designed by Thom Browne, will not be sold at the store. “It’s too small,” Del Vecchio said. “The merchandise there needs to be highly productive and Black Fleece needs to be presented properly, so it won’t fit.”
The store features several windows and a lounge that looks out over Lincoln Center. Del Vecchio said he expects to hold “several events” in the space because of its proximity to the performing arts mecca.
Del Vecchio said he is interested to see if the new store “cannibalizes” any of the company’s other units. “This will be a test,” he said. If successful, Brooks would consider opening additional stores in Manhattan. “There are other areas to consider,” he said, such as the Upper East Side or Chelsea. “But we’re not working on anything right now.”
The store will have a grand opening on Monday, Dec. 3, with a party benefiting Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Educational Program and featuring Wynton Marsalis.
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