BLOOMINGDALE’S SHOP HONORS FIREFIGHTERS

NEW YORK — Retailing is tough all over, but one pocket of strength is at Bloomingdale’s Fire Zone shop. It opened Oct. 23 at the 59th Street flagship, and through Friday posted $7,000 to $8,000 in sales per day in the 300-square-foot space, according to the store.
The Fire Zone honors the city’s heroic firefighters, offers exclusive FDNY logo products and is donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the Fire Safety Education Fund. Bloomingdale’s often supports charities through merchandise sales, but this is the first time the store is donating all the revenues. Also, a check for $250,000, raised through T-shirt sales by Bloomingdale’s in Palo Alto, Calif. and the Palo Alto Fire Department, was presented to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund.
“It’s just a phenomenal show of support,” said Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen. “The support from firefighters from all over the country has been exceptional. New York City never asks for help, but this was one time we were overwhelmed.”
Best sellers in the Fire Zone are baseball caps, priced at $15.95; T-shirts at $19.95 and hooded sweatshirts for $39.95. Firehouse Gumby dogs, firetrucks, fire helmets, stickers, pens and mugs are also selling.
Steve Ruzow, chairman of The Leiber Group, is credited with the shop concept. He’s participated in fire safety programs since he was a child and is an honorary fire commissioner. He had the merchandise manufactured by different vendors.