NEW YORK — C. Wonder’s bright green double doors are heading to The Shops at Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center.
This story first appeared in the February 29, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The retailer will in September unveil an 8,000-square-foot flagship at the mall, which is at the intersection of Broadway, Eighth Avenue, Central Park South and Central Park West. C. Wonder will take over about one-third of the 26,000 square feet that was occupied by Borders, which in February 2011 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The new C. Wonder flagship will be larger than the lifestyle brand’s inaugural 5,000-square-foot store, which opened in SoHo in October.
“The Upper West Side doesn’t have anything like this,” said Amy Shecter, president of C. Wonder. “We intend to immerse ourselves in the community and build relationships with the yummy mummies in the neighborhood. The SoHo store is exceeding our expectations. We have greater brand awareness and more brand recognition now. The Time Warner store has opportunity to exceed our expectations right from the start. I’m hoping we’ll get at the Shops the Upper East Side customer who doesn’t want to go to SoHo. ”
“The Time Warner interpretation of C. Wonder will be a new generation and new idea,” said Webber Hudson, executive vice president of Related Urban. “The execution is phenomenal.”
The Shops at Columbus Circle is remerchandising the mall as it approaches its 10th anniversary. When the four-level, 225,000-square-foot Shops opened in 2003, it was met with skepticism because vertical shopping here has had a low success rate. However, Shops has flourished — landlord Related Cos. has said some fashion retailers at the mall generate sales of $2,000 a square foot. Related has been eager to attract more luxury and high fashion brands to Shops. Sisley, United Colors of Benetton and Face Stockholm left the center in July. Olive oil purveyor O & Co. replaced Face Stockholm and J. Crew men’s moved into the Sisley space. About 50,000 square feet in total will be re-tenanted, resulting in about 10 to 12 new stores over the next year to 18 months.
“[C. Wonder] was exciting and fresh and fits into all the things we’ve been talking about at Time Warner,” Hudson said. “We’re taking a well-targeted shot at something new and relevant. They will be very much at the top of the list going forward. Christopher Burch [chief executive officer of venture capital firm J. Christopher Capital LLC, who developed C. Wonder] has got a pipeline of different concepts. They’re the kind of merchants that bring a fresh point of view to an assortment.”