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The Americana Manhasset has taken the e-commerce plunge.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Manhasset, N.Y., open-air luxury shopping center has always focused on fine-tuning its retail mix and maintaining high architecture and landscaping standards in branding itself as a destination for top brands. Cyberspace took a backseat to terra firma — until now. The Americana has launched a slice of e-commerce in conjunction with one of its longtime tenants, Hirshleifer’s.
“It was time to get into the e-commerce game,” said Andrea Sanders, senior vice president and creative director of Americana Manhasset. “You can’t not pay attention to it. We’re not a store but we wanted to work with our stores. We’re hoping people come to our site because they respect us and are looking to be surprised and inspired by the products we choose to feature.”
The e-commerce component of americanamanhasset.com launched with 12 items that consumers “won’t see everywhere else,” she said.
Americana Manhasset personal shoppers along with Hirshleifer’s buyers will edit the products each season.
“It will grow organically,” Sanders said. “We’ll see what kinds of things customers are interested in. We expect more vendors to get on board once they see how nicely we present the products….We want to maintain quality control over fulfillment.”
Products on the site include Jessica Kagan Cushman bangles, $125; a Lucien Pellat-Finet skull-motif sweater, $1,285; an Edidi small clutch, $1,100; Lanvin ballerina flats, $540; a Norma Kamali chiffon gown, $300; a Kara Ross cuff, $385; Luciano Padovan slingbacks, $420, and a Libertine button-down shirt, $500. The items will be changed biweekly.
Americana Manhasset’s store roster includes Bottega Veneta, Cartier, CH Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Hermès, Giorgio Armani, J.Mendel, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta.
When the center opened in 1956, it had a supermarket, movie theater and department store, among other tenants. B. Altman joined in 1971. Luxury designers began arriving toward the end of the Nineties, with another wave coming in 2003 when a 40,000-square-foot addition was built.
“We have a very strategic plan for marketing e-commerce,” Sanders said. It includes direct mail and promoting e-commerce on the Americana’s home page and e-mail blasting Hirshleifer’s and Americana customers and personal shopping customers.
“We see this as a five-year plan and beyond,” Sanders said.