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J. Press is closing its Madison Avenue store — but the venerable men’s wear retailer expects to find a new location by next year at the latest.
The landlord of the building at 380 Madison Avenue at 46th Street, where J. Press has been since 2007, is planning to renovate the entire building and is forcing the closure of the store, the company said. Its last day in business will be Jan. 18.
This story first appeared in the January 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We were trying to seamlessly complete the relocation by the end of the lease, but real estate has its challenges, and we will continue to update our customers on our relocation plan,” said Yuki Okita, president and chief executive officer of J. Press. The company is owned by Japan’s Onward Kashiyama.
“It is indeed unfortunate that we are going to experience the lapse in relocating our store,” she added. “We have been searching for alternate flagship store space on Madison between Grand Central Station and 53rd Street since spring 2013. There were potential spaces, but they happened to be not available on time. We are putting our best effort into finding a home for J. Press and this has been our top priority.”
Okita said the goal is to “reopen our flagship by spring of 2015 at the latest. If we can find the right place, we might be able to open within this year. We value our customer and would like to make sure we can service them as soon as possible at our new flagship.”
The company said that until a space is found, customers can shop at J. Press’ other three East Coast locations or online. The company also operates a J. Press York Street store on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, but that shop carries the younger-skewed collection designed by Shimon and Ariel Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons. Okita said, “We do not plan to mix the J. Press heritage line within that store, but there is a possibility that we might consider [adding] the made-to-measure service to continue to service our existing customer.”
Okita admitted that the “temporary closing” of the flagship “will have an effect on our New York base business, with all the foot traffic that we have, but we are hoping to service our customer during the absence of our store through our e-commerce site and the D.C., New Haven and Cambridge stores.”
J. Press was founded in 1902 on the Yale University campus in New Haven by Jacobi Press. Onward Kashiyama has owned the business since 1986.