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NEW YORK — Bluefly.com, the off-price fashion e-tailer, has a new address — and it doesn’t start with www.
This story first appeared in the December 17, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The online retailer has opened a holiday store at Underground-NYC, a 10,000-square-foot marketplace for emerging designers at 1031 Avenue of the Americas, near 39th Street here. Underground-NYC, which rents small booths to artists and designers, allocated 1,500 square feet for Bluefly, by far the largest space of any vendor, said Jim Ressler, a co-owner of Underground-NYC.
The Bluefly shop launched Dec. 1 and will remain open at least through next month, Ressler said, adding, “I hope Bluefly is with us all year round.”
The holiday shop features merchandise from an array of designers that sell on Bluefly.com, where merchandise is typically discounted 20 to 80 percent.
Bluefly’s Underground-NYC shop features: Moncler, Via Spiga and DKNY coats; boots by Prada, Michael Kors, Fendi, Tod’s and Dolce & Gabbana, and handbags by Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ferragamo, Fendi and Yves Saint Laurent. Sweaters, scarves, gloves, dresses and sunglasses also are featured.
“It’s been great,” said Patrick Barry, chief financial officer of Bluefly. “It’s a great holiday add-on.” To put it into perspective, he said, “We sell more in 15 minutes on Bluefly.com than we will there in a month.”
“They’ve been a draw for us because people are coming in to buy gifts from Bluefly,” Ressler said. “They’re constantly bringing in new goods. Their offices are literally around the block on West 39th Street.”
This is not Bluefly.com’s first foray into brick-and-mortar retail. The company in 2004 opened a temporary store in a 3,500-square-foot space at 102 Wooster Street in SoHo.
Underground-NYC, which opened in October, has an adjacent storefront that is used for sample sales. Every week, a different company rents the space. At the marketplace, “everyone with the exception of Bluefly has to make or design their own goods,” Ressler said. “These people can’t afford a showroom or store. This is the perfect opportunity for them.”