By  on January 28, 2019

The downward trajectory of Manhattan retail real estate, with average asking rents declining in 15 out of 17 major corridors in fall of 2018, produced more than lots of empty storefronts. The availability of retail space at asking rents discounted as much as 36 percent from fall 2017 levels spawned a cottage industry of hybrid retail brokers/store operators/consultants, offering soup-to-nuts services from design to staffing for direct-to-consumer brands. While larger firms such as Appear Here have been providing similar services, the twist is that upstarts are getting into the game.

The Naked Retail Group — a partnership between Justin Kerzner, creator of Upton Belts; Bruce Gifford, founder of Naked Cashmere, and Brandon Charnas, cofounder of Current Real Estate Advisors and the husband of Something Navy’s Arielle Charnas — is an example of the new business model, leasing short-term space to digitally native brands. The company, which now operates six stores, plans to open another six to 10 this year.

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