Many well-heeled New Yorkers have been residing in the Hamptons for months during the coronavirus pandemic — and the July 4 holiday weekend is sure to bring in another influx of visitors.
With renewed concerns about store safety amid a spike in cases in many areas of the country, it won’t be a typical summer in this enclave on eastern Long Island. Still, a number of big retailers, including Jimmy Choo, Paul Stuart and American Eagle, are debuting spaces with special add-on services to lure shoppers in the coronavirus era.
“There’s an opportunity. People are shopping now because they are tired of being cooped up,” said Joseph Aquino, president of JAACRES, a commercial real estate firm, who works with local retailers such as Charleston Shoe Co.
Jimmy Choo is opening a pop-up in East Hampton, on Newtown Lane, for the third year. (It previously operated temporary Hamptons locations in 2017 and 2018.) The 1,800-sq.-ft. shop — which features shoes, bags, eyewear, small leather goods, accessories and fragrance — is selling both spring styles and pre-fall looks.
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With some people still anxious about shopping in store, Choo is also touting private shopping appointments, virtual styling and contactless curbside pickup. Taking it a step further, the label unveiled “Choo to You,” which will offer consumers on-demand delivery services and the option of having a curated selection of styles brought to them.
Same-day delivery, once a perk, has become the norm for challenged retailers looking to compete this summer.
Bergdorf Goodman, for example, will deliver purchases to any Hamptons consumers who order before noon each day. Like many other New York City retailers, Bergdorf, which just opened its flagship last week, is grappling with the loss of tourism traffic and dollars as well as the exodus of from the city.
Paul Stuart, which counts stores in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., noticed that many of its loyal Manhattan consumers were staying out of town, and didn’t plan to return until after Labor Day. With a strong client base already in the Hamptons, it just debuted in Southampton — and will remain open through the end of the year.
Footwear styles on offer include classic espadrilles, suede bucks, and sneakers in leather and suede.
“With this new store in Southampton, we are thrilled to meet again with old and new customers who are spending time there this summer,” said CEO Paulette Garafalo.
While familiar nameplates might have instant recognition, some retailers are instead betting on new concepts to fuel excitement.
American Eagle, for example, has opened Unsubscribed — which focuses on “consciously-made, slow fashion.” The shop stocks women’s wear, swimwear and accessories, including styles from outside brands such as Veja, the hot Paris-based sustainable sneaker brand.