NEW YORK — Loehmann’s is coming to Manhattan’s West Side.

The iconic off-pricer is set to open in mid-March in a 37,000-square-foot space in the Ansonia, the famed beaux arts building at Broadway and 73rd Street. The ground-floor space and basement had been occupied by a Gristedes supermarket.

Loehmann’s famous back room, where styles from European and American designers are found, will be in the former frozen foods section. Industry sources estimated the store would generate more than $20 million in sales in its first year.

The store will be Loehmann’s second in Manhattan. A 60,000-square-foot unit at Seventh Avenue and 17th Street in Chelsea occupies a portion of the former Barneys New York space.

“We’ve been looking for a second location for some time,” said Fred Forcellati, vice president of advertising and creative. “The Upper West Side has been something we wanted to do. It’s a great place to be right now from a shopping standpoint. There are so many stores opening on Columbus Avenue and on Broadway. It’s becoming quite a shopping mecca.”

The store will carry the same merchandise categories as the Chelsea unit, including designer, contemporary, career, better and bridge apparel. There also will be shoes, handbags and accessories, a men’s department and the company’s first children’s department. “It’s a family-oriented neighborhood,” Forcellati said.

The store will have a full-time personal shopper, described by Forcellati as “the insider’s insider.”

Frieda Loehmann opened the first Loehmann’s in 1921 on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. She made the rounds of designer showrooms, picking up overstocks, cancellations and samples and then selling them at deep discounts.

The company still buys from manufacturers, Forcellati said. “There always seems to be goods available. We’ve come across some buys from Bloomingdale’s and Neiman’s, but we pretty much buy directly from the manufacturers. We’re the secret no one really wants to discuss. [The industry] likes us to be there, but they’d never admit it. We’re fine with that. We’re glad that we have the opportunities and relationships that we do have.”

In addition to the back room, another legendary Loehmann’s feature — the communal fitting room — will be found at the Broadway location. There also will be 25 private fitting rooms.

This story first appeared in the January 9, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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