REAL ESTATE

Gap’s online Piperlime unit to open its first retail store

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — Online retailer Piperlime, a division of Gap Inc., will open its first retail store this fall, in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.

The 4,000-sq.-ft. Piperlime store will offer a similar curated assortment as online, and be styled as a boutique. It will feature a range of brands, from Fryle to Citizens of Humanity, along with upcoming, lesser-known ones, such as Tinley Road and Maison Scotch. Sargenti Architects, Paramus, N.J., will serve as the architect for Piperlime’s first foray into brick-and-mortar retailing.

“Our customers have been asking for a place where they can experience Piperlime in person, and New York is the perfect location for this,” said Jennifer Gosselin, senior VP and general manager of Piperlime. “Our SoHo location will offer an edited assortment, giving customers the right amount of everything in a refreshing setting.”

Piperlime was launched in 2006.

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FINANCE

ComScore: Online spending increases 17% to $44.3 billion in Q1

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Online U.S. retail spending reached $44.3 billion in first quarter 2012, up 17% versus a year ago, according to comScore’s Q1 2012 Retail survey. It was the tenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

In other findings, 38% of tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices within the past month. Apparel was the most popular category for purchase among tablet shoppers.

“The first quarter of this year was especially strong for retail e-commerce as we returned to year-over-year growth rates in the high teens, numbers we haven’t seen since 2007,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to e-commerce appears to be accelerating. This presents opportunities but also challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers if they can’t hold onto their offline market share in the digital world.”

Highlights from the quarter include:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: digital content & subscriptions, computer software, consumer electronics, jewelry & watches and event tickets. Each category grew at least 17% versus year ago.
  • 48.8% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, the highest percentage for a quarter on record outside of the holiday season.
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REAL ESTATE

Superdry USA opens 14,000-sq.-ft. store in Times Square

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — British lifestyle brand Superdry USA on May 9 debuted its largest North American retail destination to date, a two-story, 14,000-sq-ft. store in New York City’s Times Square. It is the brand’s third Big Apple location.

Featuring men’s and women’s casual and contemporary apparel and accessories, the new store will offer an eclectic environment that is marked by oversized jam jar chandeliers, triple patchwork tables made from reclaimed wood and the extensive use of raw steel. Unique features include an industrial bomb light chandelier made from British factory lights salvaged from the 1940’s, bespoke cubby-style denim cabinetry, and vetrine mannequin display units. Shoppers can swiftly check out by optimizing the iPod Touch portable check out systems.

Sargenti Architects, Paramus, N.J., served as the architect of record for Superdry USA at Times Square (the Paramus, N.J.-based firm serves in a similar capacity for all of the brand’s U.S. stores).

Superdry USA will continue its New York City retail expansion with the opening of a Lexington Avenue and 59th Street location in August.

Superdry USA, a division of Sunrise Brands, was conceived in 2003 by James Holder and Julian Dunkerton following an inspirational trip to Tokyo. Beginning with a collection of graphic t-shirts, the brand has since grown into an international retailer that fuses distinctive fashion influences from across the globe, including precise British tailoring, vintage Americana style and hand-drawn Japanese-inspired graphics.

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