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At a spring review of Joe Fresh, Joseph Mimran, the brand’s founder, was talking trends: bold graphics, white and black, see-through mesh and perforated fabrics, fake leather and the innovative and very light synthetic “air” fabric. The spring array, on a runway at Dream Downtown’s South Center Gallery in New York, is just a sampling of Joe Fresh’s head-to-toe collection of contemporary styles that bridges generations and serves up moderate prices.
But the biggest trend is square footage and how quickly Joe Fresh is ramping it up. The 14,000-square-foot U.S. flagship, opened in March at 510 Fifth Avenue in New York, has been the spark, Mimran said. It impressed J.C. Penney Co. Inc. chief executive officer Ron Johnson, who contacted Mimran by e-mail to strike a distribution deal, and also caught the eye of other potential partners who could take the brand beyond North America. “There’s no question that when you get on Fifth Avenue with a big flagship, people take notice,” Mimran said.
In the metro New York area, there are six Joe Fresh stores and more to come. “We don’t want to just parachute in and not be real. We are looking for other flagship opportunities in New York. We want to have a real presence,” with stores and design facilities, he said.
Mimran has been citing the possibility of opening overseas for awhile, but there is nothing specific to report. So first things first. In March, Joe Fresh rolls out inside 683 J.C. Penney stores with shops-in-shop from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet each, giving Joe Fresh a huge U.S. footprint practically overnight. “It’s all going to happen in about a week,” Mimran said.