Vince has relocated its shop within The Westchester mall in White Plains, N.Y., to larger quarters enabling the contemporary fashion brand to display the full breadth of its assortment.
“The old store was a tiny shoebox,” Brendan Hoffman, the outgoing chief executive officer of Vince Holdings Corp., told WWD. “It didn’t allow us to show anything more than women’s. Our new store allows us to show women’s, men’s and other categories — our complete range of Vince clothing and accessories. We always do better with dual-gender locations.”
The 2,486-square-foot shop, which opened Thursday a few doors from the former 1,775-square-foot site, sells women’s apparel, footwear, handbags, men’s wear, home and a selection of Vince Collective items. Gucci previously occupied the space Vince moved into.
Vince worked out the relocation with the mall owner Simon Property Group prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nevertheless, the move underscores opportunities brands like Vince have to optimize their brick-and-mortar presence when other retailers close stores through rationalizations of their retail fleets or bankruptcies.
“Vince will continue to look opportunistically at brick-and-mortar as part of our omni strategy,” said Hoffman. “Given the current environment, it’s clear there is lots of availability for good brands to take advantage of the need for occupancy.”
Vince is further advantaged by having kickout clauses written into many leases, providing the right to exit a mall, typically after five years. “This gives us the flexibility to continue to strengthen the portfolio,” said Hoffman, who is leaving Vince to join Wolverine Worldwide on Sept. 8, first as president and eventually adding the title of ceo.
Vince, with its understated, coastal California-inspired style, is well suited to shopping habits shifted by the pandemic. The store design reflects the brand’s aesthetic. It has a neutral color palette, plaster details, custom built-ins, and 1970s Italian furnishings. The space also spotlights work by Los Angeles-based ceramicist Katie Thompson, reinforcing the California design influence.
Vince has 48 retail stores and 14 outlets. It also operates vince.com, the Unfold subscription service, the Rebecca Taylor and Parker brands, and sells through wholesale channels.
The Westchester unit is the first Vince location to open since the onset of COVID-19. The shop operates with reduced hours to accommodate additional cleaning and coronavirus prevention measures including frequent disinfection, reduced occupancy, and the requirement of employees to wear face masks and regularly wash hands. In addition, the store will operate on a showroom model, where single units are placed on the selling floor and store associates will pull new items from the back to fulfill purchases.