JIMMY JAZZ OWNER, KHEZRIE, BUYS 50 PERCENT STAKE IN SND
Byline: Elena Romero
NEW YORK — Jimmy Khezrie, owner of the 36-unit Jimmy Jazz young men’s chain, has purchased a 50 percent interest in SND Underground, which sells young men’s and women’s upscale brands.
SND, an eight-unit chain based in Brooklyn, was founded in the Eighties by Robert Shapiro and Izzy Steinberg. Khezrie bought out the stake of Steinberg, who will retain, and rename, an SND store in Far Rockaway, N.Y.
Steinberg and Shapiro formed their partnership when Shapiro, a salesman for Cotler Co., saw a need for young men’s stores in urban areas.
Calling it a “happy divorce,” Shapiro said the parting with Steinberg was amicable.
“We talk more now than we did when we were partners,” he said. “We had a different philosophy. Izzy decided he wanted [the chain] smaller and we were not on the same page.”
Steinberg could not be reached for comment.
SND had created its following by bringing upscale brands into the inner city. The chain competed with Jimmy Jazz and other urban specialty stores, including Dr. Jay’s.
With units in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, SND carries a wide assortment of brands, including Versace, D&G, Fendi, Ferre, Guess, Girbaud, Ecko, Sean John, Phat Farm and Enyce for men and women.
“I see [the SND stores] having a lot of growth potential,” Khezrie said Friday. “I am very happy with its brand selection and merchandising. What I want to bring to the store is a better operating system and infrastructure.”
Khezrie said there is no plan to convert the SND stores into Jimmy Jazz units.
“It will continue under the SND Underground name,” he said. “There’s enough business to warrant both chains.”
Additional units may be added as early as September, he said.
To distinguish between the chains, Khezrie said, “we will keep SND more high end with more select branded merchandise.”
Thirteen years ago, Khezrie made the transition from real estate to retail. His Jimmy Jazz operation has now grown to 36 stores, including three children’s stores. Khezrie also owns the six women’s stores called Mony.
For the past year, Khezrie had been attempting to expand his business. He added stores in Harlem and began a move into malls in the New York area. At the same time, he made an attempt to go national with the acquisition of the Coda chain from the bankrupt Edison Bros.
Khezrie was a 33.6 percent investor in Coda Acquisition Group Inc., which acquired the 283-unit Coda chain for $10.3 million. However, less than four months after the purchase, Khezrie and partner Stuart Feldman of Chelsea Capital moved to liquidate.