The Hickey Freeman store on Madison Avenue has closed.
The 2,500-square-foot store, which was owned by Doug Williams, chief executive officer of W Diamond Group, had been located at 543 Madison Avenue between 54th and 55th Street. It had been renovated in 2014 and given a refresh that included updated lighting, fixtures and displays. In addition to its core Hickey Freeman ready-to-wear and made-to-measure product, the store had also carried an assortment of licensed products as well as several third-party brands.
In 2013, Grano Retail Holdings, parent company of Montreal-based Samuelsohn, finalized its acquisition of all the tangible assets of the Hickey Freeman brand, including its factory in Rochester, from W Diamond Group. But W Diamond retained ownership of the retail store. Williams was the former ceo of HMX Group.
In May, Grano opened a 900-square-foot store at Brookfield Place, the upscale shopping center on the site of the former World Financial Center. It is located between and Equinox Sports Club and the Saks Fifth Avenue store, slated to open later this year. This store was unrelated to the Madison Avenue unit and was the first to be opened by Grano Retail Holdings since the company purchased the assets of the Hickey Freeman brand three years ago. Under the terms of the deal, Grano entered into a 40-year license with Hickey Freeman’s owner, Authentic Brands Group.
At the time, Stephen Granovsky, Grano’s chief executive officer, said that while the Madison Avenue store did well and the relationship with Williams was cordial, Grano was “in discussions to acquire that store so we can present one very aligned view of Hickey Freeman to the customer.”
Williams said Monday that the plan was always for Grano to take over the Madison Avenue store, but it “required that the landlord agree to the assignment of the lease. We all agreed that the timing was right to request the assignment from the landlord now that the Brookfield store had opened and [Grano/Authentic Brands Group] had effected the repositioning of the Hickey Freeman brand. The landlord chose to recapture the space versus assigning the lease.”
Williams said the brand is currently scouting for a location on the Upper East Side.