BLOOMBERG CUTS THE RIBBON TO GIVE LOFT A LIFT DOWNTOWN

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Ann Taylor Loft, the first “brand name” store to move into lower Manhattan since Sept. 11, will commemorate the opening by donating more than $100,000 to the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund.
The figure is based on Loft’s commitment to donate 40 percent of the store’s first-week revenues, estimated to exceed $250,000. The shop, at 2 Broadway, had its soft opening April 16, and on Monday, Ann Taylor chairman and chief executive J. Patrick Spainhour and Mayor Michael Bloomberg presided over the official opening with the traditional ribbon-cutting.
“Despite the tragedy, we never wavered from our plans to open,” stated Spainhour, who said Loft continues to track ahead of plan, after posting a 17 percent comp-store gain in March. “This store says it all,” the Mayor said. “It shows confidence in lower Manhattan. This store will do very well commercially.”
Bloomberg, who cut the ribbon with ease, said the city owed it to the victims of Sept. 11 to rebuild lower Manhattan, and that Loft opening was a signal to the world that lower Manhattan is open again for business. And, he hopes, ribbon-cuttings will become a bigger part of his work routine.
“Before I became Mayor,” he said, “no one ever called to say, ‘why don’t you open a women’s fashion store.”‘

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