NEW YORK — Target expects its first Manhattan store at East River Plaza, which opens Sunday, to conservatively do $60 million to $70 million in annual sales, but is hoping for a volume of $100 million to $115 million, according to sources.
This story first appeared in the July 22, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 110,000-square-foot store marks a big step for the $63.5 billion Target after years of searching for a site in New York City. “East River Plaza provides for single-level layouts for the retailers,” said Peter Ripka, a partner in Ripco Real Estate and the project’s leasing agent. “It’s more akin to [Target’s] suburban operations and very familiar to their customers.”
It may be difficult for Target to find single floor space in Manhattan for its next store. “[Target] has turned the spigot on again and is now actively looking in Manhattan,” said a source close to the company. “They’re considering some things along the West Side. It may depend on how the [Harlem] store comes out of the box. Target’s Atlantic Terminal store in Brooklyn was a huge success and is consistently one of the top-performing stores in the chain. A lot of customers are going there from lower Manhattan. You can bet Target is going to study where the Harlem store’s shoppers are coming from.”
Target already knows that many of its future customers live in the neighborhood. The store appeals to those multiethnic residents with signage in English and Spanish and graphics featuring African-American, Hispanic and white models.
“The East Harlem Target is unique to the area due to its urban setting,” said Trish Adams, senior vice president of Target. “The merchandise has been tailored based on shopping patterns and the demographics of the neighborhood. We’ll offer an edited assortment overall, with more space devoted to commodities, basics for the home and items for apartment dwellers such as storage solutions and air beds.”
Target’s latest salvo in the price wars, announced Wednesday, is Back in Black Friday. The online event Friday is a play on promotions that usually occur on the day after Thanksgiving. For women, offers will include Zebra rain boots, $15, a 40 percent savings; Mossimo maxidresses, $21.99, buy one, get one free, and a Soap and Glory set for $7.99, a 47 percent savings.
Rents at 500,000-square-foot, $400 million East River Plaza are in the $40 to $50 a square foot range. Costco and Best Buy have opened, and Marshalls, Old Navy and Pet Smart are expected. The complex offers subsidized parking for $4.50.
In terms of fashion, “the New York shopper is savvy, so we’ve provided the Harlem guest with a wide assortment of Target-owned apparel and limited-time-only designer brands,” Adams said. “The East Harlem Target will receive the latest limited-time-only designer collections,” including Tucker for Target apparel on Sept. 12, Temple St. Clair for Target jewelry on Aug. 29 and Mulberry for Target handbags Oct. 10.
Unique to the store will be Harlem Designers Collections, including Marcus Samuelsson’s T-shirts; Isabel and Ruben Toledo’s whimsical swimwear and beach towels and Stephen Burrows’ street-smart knits such as zip-front hoodie dresses and colorblocked pocket skirts. Burrows’ line will go to 60 stores, the designer said. All three will be available online in August.
In an effort to reach out to the community, Target held a party Tuesday, inviting the likes of Stephen Burrows, Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum, Russell Simmons, Reverend Run, Kelis, Tyson Beckford and Kurtis Blow. Filmmaker Albert Maysles said Target is “helping support my theater, Maysles Films on Lenox Avenue [in Harlem]. I teach kids how to make movies.”
The Toledos, whose Target collaboration was their first mass market hookup, were pushing a shopping cart brimming with products. “It’s so neighborhoody,” Ruben said. “It’s like a town square — that’s the missing link in retail.”