Shop Talk: L.A. Shops Find New Digs… Ripe for Biz

Mark Goldstein is hoping to take his Madison and Diavolina stores back to their roots with faster fashion and more celebrity appeal. Earlier this month, both stores relocated from L.A.’s touristy Robertson Boulevard, to nearby Third Street, where the shops are housed in a 7,000-sq.-ft. space with an adjoining walkway.

“We’re going to get more of the type of customer we had when we initially went on Robertson [13 years ago], which is the cool, fashionable girl,” said Goldstein. “It will increase our business with stylists and celebrities, too, because it’s more low-key, and with the parking lot, they can get in and get out.”

While sky-high rents on Robertson were certainly a motivation to move, Goldstein said there were other factors: The new location also increases office space and houses his Internet business. “This building is great and it does everything we need,” he said. “Even if rents were low [on Robertson], I would have strongly considered this move. It’s a good move for us.”

— Wayne Niemi

Ripe for Business

New York-based boutique Ripe has revamped its business.

The store reopened on Third Avenue near 66th Street in Manhattan earlier this month, with slightly higher price points and such brands as Velvet Angels, Matthew Berenson and All Black.

“We have been getting lots of positive feedback from our customers since the relaunch and I am looking forward to an amazing spring season,” storeowner Asi Agajan told Footwear News.

On May 21, Agajan is throwing a shopping event targeting college grads who are prepping for new careers in Manhattan, and he hopes to outfit them in new, hard-to-find styles. “A lot of people are holding back on buying interesting styles, but I’m doing the opposite,” he said. “Of course, we need to make money, and I am stocking [basics], but we’ve got to keep it exciting.”

EMS Triple Threat

Eastern Mountain Sports next month will bow a new store on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street in New York — and it’s going to be big. The 18,000-sq.-ft. space is three times the size of its previous New York location, which closed in January.

“This has been in the works for a while, and it was a financially attractive option for us through the real estate shifts going on in the market,” said footwear product manager Marshall Merriam. “[New York] has been a core market for us, and solidifying our position in Manhattan is extremely important.”

The bilevel store features trained fit specialists, and a travel library downstairs — filled with books and guides — lets shoppers research and plan future outdoor trips.

EMS also is celebrating the relocation and expansion of its Annapolis, Md., store on May 1.

— Lindsay E. Sammon

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