H.Stern has finished renovations on its 645 Fifth Avenue store and reopened the freshly updated space for business on Thursday.
Designed by Brazilian architect Arthur Casas, the store was made to feel smaller and more intimate. A translucent storefront was conceived to help make the space more inviting to Fifth Avenue’s many window-shoppers.
“I do — I think that the store will be more inviting and the doors will be wider, and you will see through [into the store] when you pass by,” said Roberto Stern, H.Stern’s chief executive officer. “Before we had revolving doors, which was a little bit intimidating. I think this [new design] will generate more traffic especially in a location like Fifth Avenue.
“In fact that it’s a little bit smaller, which will work to our advantage. The other store [was] far too big, even when we had clients inside you had the feeling that the store was empty,” he added.
The store itself was conceived to be monochromatic in soft browns and taupes with light wood accents. “Everybody is trying to be more luxurious and we decided to do understated luxury,” said Stern. “The only thing more flashy will be the facade with an ‘S’ shape in gold-bronze,” he added.
Stern says that the renovation (including build-out and lost business from the temporary closure) cost the brand between $3 million and $5 million. But that short-term loss, he says, was made with the goal of increasing the location’s business by 50 percent during the next five years. “We hope that [in the] next five years there will be a 10 percent increase year by year,” he said.
H.Stern had opened a SoHo pop-up to accommodate New York business throughout the renovation. At present, the company is investigating an extension on this temporary lease to continue the test phase of a downtown outlet.