Financier Ron Burkle wants Scoop to swoop up real estate.
This story first appeared in the May 31, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We’ve got the green light for a rollout,” Scoop president and chief executive officer Susan Davidson told WWD in an exclusive interview.
After a four-year hiatus from opening stores, Scoop will open on June 23 a 4,800-square-foot unit at 1011 North Rush Street in Chicago, near Prada, Hermès, Barneys New York and Marc Jacobs, and is close to signing a lease on Boston’s Newbury Street.
In addition, “We are looking at several locations in Los Angeles. We will be looking at San Francisco and considering D.C. There are a lot of markets we are considering. We conduct focus groups. We listen to what customers have to say,” Davidson said. “Los Angeles is our second biggest market online. It’s clearly going to be a big [multichannel] market for us.…I believe we can be at least a 25-store chain in the U.S. Our longer-term plan includes international markets.”
The plan also revolves around “a cluster strategy,” which entails opening a few stores per metro area. “A cluster strategy gives you marketing synergies and brand awareness,” Davidson said. “A visual team can cover more than one store. It makes for a more efficient operation. We would love to have three locations in Los Angeles, probably two in San Francisco and another in Miami.”
Davidson also feels there’s room for growth in New York. “We are not on the Upper West Side. Brooklyn is very appealing,” specifically downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Boerum Hill or Williamsburg, she said. Malls generally don’t cut it. “We do well in cool up-and-coming neighborhoods.”
Scoop already operates a store in the Windy City, at 1702 North Milwaukee Avenue. The new Chicago unit, Scoop’s 15th, will have two levels, a 375-square-foot terrace for events, a sleek glass staircase and a minimal interior design. Helmut Lang, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, Alice + Olivia, Free City, Burberry, Camilla Skovgaard, Anya Hindmarch, Zac Posen, Dsquared, Billy Reid and Simon Spurr will be carried, among other designers.
In the past three years, Scoop was acquired by Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos.; Stefani Greenfield, the founder, and former ceo Melanie Cox left the business. Davidson joined in September 2009 and e-commerce launched last fall. Davidson refreshed the stores, made some key hires and converted a clearance space at 875 Washington Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District into a “swing shop” that changes its merchandise concept periodically.
“The stores are back to the original DNA, meaning they’re focused on contemporary and designer clothing. We have very, very successful stores, with sales per square foot in excess of $1,000 and some significantly in excess of that,” Davidson said, singling out the SoHo, Meatpacking and East Hampton units.