NEW YORK — The North Face Inc.’s first store on the East Coast reveals its most compelling side: product innovation.

The company’s newest unit — only the seventh regular-priced store it operates — is housed in the landmark Ansonia apartment building on the northwest corner of Broadway and 73rd Street. The two-level unit has 8,000-square-feet of selling space and is expected to hit $4 million to $5 million in sales, according to industry estimates, even though it’s not in the densest of Manhattan’s retail destinations. Reebok, however, opened on 67th Street and Columbus Avenue this week, and the new AOL/Time Warner center will have a significant retail component when it opens later this year on Columbus Circle. Patagonia, a primary competitor, has a store on Columbus Avenue near 81st Street.

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