Marshs has some new competition.
This story first appeared in the December 6, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The men’s and women’s specialty store in Huntington, N.Y., has been part of the Mitchells Family of Stores since 2005. In 2010, the Mitchell family also purchased Thomas Miller Menswear, a men’s wear fixture in neighboring Woodbury, N.Y., for three decades. Thomas Miller was merged into Marshs and subsequently closed. A core group of its employees were retained to work at Marshs but, this fall, three of those employees took the plunge and opened their own store.
The founding partners are Donald O’Connor, Jim Foley and Marco DeStefano, who had worked at Thomas Miller for decades and Marshs for a little over two years.
“We actually wanted to buy the store from Tom,” said Foley. “But it didn’t happen.”
He said, since merging with Marshs, “it was very difficult for us to satisfy the customer so we decided to bring back an authentic luxury store.”
Foley said that although the Woodbury Mens Shop is only six miles away from Marshs, “as far as demographics, it’s another planet.” He said parking is difficult at Marshs, which is on a main street, but ample at Woodbury Mens Shop, which is in a “nice boutique shopping center.”
The new store brings O’Connor, the made-to-measure specialist, back together with master tailor Mario Imbrenda, who had retired when Thomas Miller closed.
“But 50 percent of our business is sportswear,” Foley said, noting that the store carries lines such as Gran Sasso for knitwear and Paul & Shark, as well as Pal Zileri made-to-measure clothing. The store also carries accessories, shoes, outerwear and formalwear.
“We’re bringing back real specialty store lines that you won’t find in a department store,” Foley said.
The store was designed by Black Sheep Interiors of Atlanta and includes a taupe and brown palette accented with dark wood furniture, much of it reclaimed for an earthy feel.
He said that although he views Marshs as competition, he and his partners strive to provide a “more personalized atmosphere and a specialty store feel. Marshs is so big, it’s like shopping in a department store,” Foley said.
Woodbury Mens Store is 2,500 square feet and Marshs is 15,000 square feet and includes women’s wear.
Bob Mitchell, copresident of Mitchells Family of Stores, could not be reached for comment.