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Neiman’s Cusp Set for Chestnut Hill

BOSTON - Neiman Marcus will open its fifth Cusp next month in The Mall at Chestnut Hill, an upscale property 10 miles west of Boston.

BOSTON — Neiman Marcus will open its fifth Cusp next month in The Mall at Chestnut Hill, an upscale property 10 miles west of Boston.

This story first appeared in the July 18, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Dallas-based retailer has been gradually adding doors to its two-year-old contemporary concept, which competes with Barneys Co-op, Bloomingdale’s — both of which have stores at Chestnut Hill — and online boutiques such as Shopbop and Revolve Clothing.

With its smaller footprint and boutique-style merchandising, Cusp is positioned to help Neiman Marcus reach younger shoppers. The average age of a Neiman’s store customer is 50.

Cusp.com, which features e-commerce, a blog and designer interviews, launched in March. A sixth Cusp will open in November in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. Other Cusps are located at Century City in Los Angeles, Tysons Corner Center in Virginia, the Georgetown section of Washington and Northbrook Center mall in suburban Chicago.

“Chestnut Hill presented a unique opportunity to bring a new contemporary specialty store concept to the Boston market,” said Russ Patrick, managing director of Cusp, adding that the retailer was “impressed with the [Chestnut Hill] customer and her lifestyle.”

Chestnut Hill is the most affluent village within Newton, Mass., where median home prices surpass $1 million.

Cusp will launch Aug. 28 in a 5,950-square-foot space that had been a productive location for contemporary boutique Jasmine Sola before the chain went bankrupt.

Jasmine Sola founder Luciano Manganella unsuccessfully sought to regain the Chestnut Hill lease for his new concept, 344, which has opened in several former Jasmine spots.

When luxury mall Natick Collection in Natick, Mass., opened last fall, some retail experts speculated that it would take sales from Chestnut Hill, which is only 10 miles away, but those fears have proved to be unfounded.

Cusp will carry women’s apparel, cosmetics, shoes, handbags and jewelry.

In keeping with the other four locations, the store will feature eco-bohemian decor — zodiac-inspired rugs, wooden totem stools, concrete floors, light fixtures made out of plastic cartons and chairs woven out of recycled packaging. As part of the store’s evolving brand identity, the eco-elements have been boosted for this location, said a Cusp spokeswoman.

During its opening weekend, Cusp will host an event with Inder Bedi, designer of Matt & Nat, a line of vegan handbags.