NEW YORK — Lacoste has landed another prime Manhattan location — 575 Madison Avenue at 56th Street — and is considering the Flatiron district and the Upper West Side for additional stores.
The new Madison Avenue shop is to open by Thanksgiving. It will replace the existing Madison Avenue unit between 54th and 55th Streets, where the lease is expiring. Lacoste’s only other Manhattan store, on Fifth Avenue and 49th Street, debuted in August.
“When we opened our Fifth Avenue store, we thought there would be an effect on our business on Madison Avenue. Contrary to that, our business actually continued to grow so we decided to do another Madison Avenue location,” said Bob Ross, Lacoste’s vice president of retail, who disclosed the new site to WWD.
Lacoste plans to close its existing Madison Avenue shop at the same time it opens the new one, which will be housed in a portion of the space occupied by RCS Computers. “We anticipate doing about 20 percent more business [at the new location],” Ross said.
The store will have about 2,200 square feet of selling space, and an estimated 2,500 gross square feet.
Ross said the new store will have many design elements of the Fifth Avenue flagship, considered a prototype, including white walls and white laminate fixtures and cove lighting that perpetually changes to seven different colors.
He said the Fifth Avenue store is a higher-volume unit, projected by the company at $2,500 in sales per square foot and attracting primarily tourists. The Madison Avenue shop is expected to attract mainly customers who live and work in the neighborhood and could do significantly less volume. Lacoste stores average $900 in sales per square foot.
The company’s business has seen strong sales for several seasons, particularly in solid men’s pique polos, priced at $69, and women’s solid stretch piques, at $72. Since March, Lacoste has opened stores in the Americana Manhasset, in Manhasset, N.Y.; Boston’s Prudential Center; Valley Fair mall in San Jose, Calif., and Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. On June 18, a unit will open in the Somerset Collection, in Troy, Mich.
In addition, Lacoste has a new resort store concept that will debut in Palm Beach, Fla. The Worth Avenue unit is being moved to another spot on the avenue at the end of June, with less space, different fixtures and an edited-down assortment, Ross said. The store will have 1,100 square feet, versus 1,900 square feet at the existing site. Another resort store will open in July in Charleston, S.C., bringing the company’s total store count to 24. Units in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Bal Harbour, Fla., are being remodeled. Lacoste also operates five outlets.
Ross said five to six store openings are planned for next year, including Old Orchard in Skokie, Ill., next March.