Retail Intel: December 2018

Dec. 26, 2018: Another Fifth Avenue mainstay is closing its doors. Gap‘s three-level store on New York’s famed shopping street is scheduled to shut down on Jan. 20, a company spokesperson told FN. The decision comes a month after the company announced that it would shutter hundreds of its namesake stores as sales continued to slump in its fiscal third quarter.

Dec. 17, 2018: A little more than two years after its launch in downtown Manhattan, Saks Fifth Avenue is shuttering its women’s store in New York City’s Brookfield Place. The sprawling location at 225 Liberty St., which spans three levels and 86,000 square feet of real estate, will officially close Jan. 5. Brookfield Place is soon expected to reveal a new tenant that will take over part of the Saks space, according to FN sister publication WWD.

Dec. 15, 2018: Acne Studios has unveiled its first Beijing flagship, in a sprawling, 2,045-square-foot space inside the Taikoo Li Salitun complex in the Chaoyang district. Situated on one level, the store has an open and minimalist design similar to other Acne Studios locations and was created by the brand’s in-house team. The walls and ceiling are lacquered in high gloss white and the beige floor is made of epoxy resin, to contrast with the stainless-steel walls. Unique details include lighting by French designer Benoit Lalloz and a large sculptural display at the front of the store crafted by British designer Max Lamb, who took inspiration from Acne Studios’ signature pink hue.

Acne Studios Beijing Flagship
Acne Studios flagship in Beijing
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Dec. 14, 2018: Balenciaga debuted a two-level flagship in Milan, on the Via Montenapoleone. The store comes with industrial lights, exposed pipes, cables and conveyor rails, in line with the warehouse-inspired concept originally unveiled at its Paris flagship on Rue Saint-Honoré last year. Selling both women’s and men’s collections, it sits near Buccellati, Baldinini and Swatch, and opposite Alberta Ferretti and Malo. French luxury conglomerate Kering, which owns Balenciaga, operates several stores on the luxury thoroughfare, including Gucci and Pomellato.

Balenciaga Milan Store
Balenciaga flagship on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Dec. 12, 2018: Badgley Mischka tapped into Hollywood history for its new flagship store in Los Angeles. The brand made its home in a standalone building on Sunset Boulevard that dates back to the 1900s and that has served as the backdrop for productions such as “Scarface” and the “Charlie’s Angels” TV show. The shop features the label’s red-carpet-ready couture gowns, shoes and accessories. “Our new store is more of a reflection of a residential space, and the variety of product offerings illustrate that,” said designer James Mischka. “We want our customers to walk in and feel very much like they are visiting a real Hollywood Hills home.” The opening celebration was attended by Caitlyn Jenner, Sophia Hutchins and Molly Shannon.

Badgley Mischka LA Hollywood Flagship
James Mischka (L) and Mark Badgley inside their Hollywood flagship.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Dec. 9, 2018: Happy Socks has opened its 100th retail store, with a new boutique in Times Square in New York. This marks the brand’s third location in the Big Apple — it also has an outpost in Soho and this fall debuted a space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The 345-square-foot shop in Times Square is designed with crisp white walls and fixtures that draw attention to its selection of brightly colored patterned socks and underwear. Among the offerings is the brand’s new Hysteria by Happy Socks fashion collection.

Happy Socks Times Square Store
Happy Socks store in New York’s Times Square.
CREDIT: Happy Socks

Dec. 4, 2018: John Varvatos opened its first flagship in Dubai with help from brand ambassador Machine Gun Kelly. The 3,000-square-foot boutique is located in the Fashion Avenue at The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping center. Other merchants in the center include Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga and Giuseppe Zanotti. The design of Varvatos store is based of its Madison Avenue shop in New York, with white walls, herringbone wood floors and bespoke and vintage furnishings. It is stocked with the brand’s full product range, including apparel, footwear and accessories from the John Varvatos Collection, John Varvatos Star U.S.A. line and Bootleg by John Varvatos label.

John Varvatos Dubai Mall
John Varvatos store in the Fashion Avenue of The Dubai Mall.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

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