NEW YORK — Club Monaco steps up its retail presence here with the opening of its flagship at 8 West 57th Street this week.

The 5,000-square-foot space is a prototype of the retailer’s new design concept and features a 31-foot glass facade, dark walnut wall facings and fixtures, a mosaic art installation on the back wall thatcomplements the green and yellow hues of the retailer’s spring collection and large black-and-white fashion illustrations by artist Mats Gustafson. Other accents that lend to the store’s sleek look include Lucite seats, modernized club chairs in pony hair, vintage chrome cubes and ebony-stained jatoba wood floors.

"By mixing all of these different components like dark walnut veneers, light woods, chrome and steel, it avoids the uniform look of a mass retailer and gives the store more of the feeling of a boutique or specialty store environment, but at a bridge price point," said John Mehas, president and chief executive officer at Club Monaco.

According to Mehas, Club Monaco’s store design had remained rather static in recent years and there was an opportunity to change the store’s overall design concept and incorporate it in the new stores going forward. "The product has changed dramatically over the last several years, and we wanted a design concept that stayed true to the brand, but also married that with the elevation of the product," said Mehas.

Current store merchandise includes polo knit shirts, pleated skirts in both floral prints and leather, utility pants and slouchy suede bags. Retail prices range from $59 to $129 for women’s bottoms, $49 to $109 for women’s tops and $39 to $129 for handbags.

The firm has 25 stores in the U.S. and 42 in Canada and plans to open an additional 20 stores in the U.S. by spring of next year.

Club Monaco, a subsidiary of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, declined to give a forecast for first year store sales or its company volume.

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