REI makes New York City debut
New York City — REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) has opened its first-ever store in Manhattan, in the landmarked Puck Building in SoHo. The 35,000-sq.-ft. space has been carefully restored to honor the brand’s nearly 75-year heritage and the building’s more than century-old history.
The Seattle-based REI partnered with Callison to incorporate natural elements and historical items that were reclaimed from the Puck Building into the retail space. The building’s brick walls and ceilings, and steel columns were exposed and refurbished to honor the original structure as it appeared in the late 1890’s. Wood from the original construction was repurposed into the store’s cashier counters and canopies, display tables, chair railings, mirrors, wall coverings, signage and more.
Historic items found in the building were incorporated into display tables, fixtures and décor elements throughout the space. Approximately 30 original stone printing tablets discovered during construction and dating back to the early 1900’s are displayed near the cellar level cashier area. (The Puck Building, the original home of Puck magazine and J. Ottman Lithographic Co.) Two steam-engine flywheels — remnants of the printing presses housed in the building — are also on display.
The centerpiece of the store is a newly-constructed central staircase that physically and visually connects the main floor with two sub-grade shopping levels (joists removed from the original floor were used for the stair treads). The main floor or ground level houses camping gear, travel products, seasonal items and technical items, such as GPS units. It also features a bike and ski stop for quick repairs. A full-scale bike and ski/snowboard repair shop is located on the sub-cellar level, which is also home to a community room that will be used for classes and as a meeting space for local partners.
REI operates 122 retail stores nationwide. Looking ahead to 2012, the company’s new locations will include Woodbridge, Va.; Oxnard, Calif.; Medford, Ore.; and Indianapolis.
To see more photos of REI SoHo, click here.
ShopperTrak: Black Friday weekend sales up 1.9%, foot-traffic down 1.8% year-over-year
Chicago — More customers shopped the Sunday before Thanksgiving than the days following Black Friday, according to ShopperTrak, a leading provider of retail and mall foot-traffic counting services.
Both Black Saturday and Black Sunday showed year-over-year losses in retail sales and foot-traffic, which caused the entire Black Friday weekend to realize a 1.9% sales increase and 1.8% decline in foot-traffic when compared with the same period last year, ShopperTrak said. But the week leading up to Black Friday (ending Nov. 26), saw a 4.4% increase in sales, when compared to the same week in 2010. Black Sunday (Nov. 27) also saw a 1.7% decrease in enclosed mall foot-traffic, compared with the previous Sunday (Nov. 20).
“Retailers offered door-busters and other pre-holiday specials earlier in the Thanksgiving week to ensure they had the best opportunity to capture value-conscious shoppers,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “Our customers have access to real-time traffic information, and they succeeded in taking share earlier than they had in past years. As we’ve noted over the past few months, retailers who focus on converting shoppers into buyers with effective marketing, adequate staffing and a positive customer experience will be the most successful when the season ends.”
Black Friday sales increased 6.6% over the same day last year, representing $11.40 billion in retail purchases and the biggest dollar amount ever spent during the day, according to ShopperTrak. Retail foot traffic rose by 5.1% over Black Friday 2010. Both sales and foot-traffic, however, declined as the weekend continued. Compared with the same day in 2010, Black Saturday sales dropped 4%, and people counts declined 9.6%. Sales were slightly better on Black Sunday, dropping only 2% year-over-year, while foot traffic dropped 8.7% over Black Sunday 2010.
“Black Friday is only one day in a 60-day holiday season cycle,” added Martin. “After a record-breaking day, consumers experienced some natural fatigue. We believe retail sales and store foot-traffic will regain the momentum generated on Black Friday as we head into the prime time for holiday season shopping.”
ShopperTrak predicts five of the biggest shopping days of the season will occur in the week leading up to Christmas weekend: Dec. 17 (Super Saturday), Dec. 18, Dec. 19, Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. ShopperTrak also forecasts Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 26 as high sales days. Taken together, eight of the top 10 sales days of the year are yet to come.
“There is still a lot of time left in the holiday shopping season,” said Martin. “The most successful retailers will pay attention to foot-traffic patterns and make appropriate adjustments to convert shoppers into buyers.”
Michael Kors looks to go public
New York City — Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is looking to raise as much as $792.3 million in an initial public offering that could value the company at $3.63 billion.
The luxury brand, which has 169 stores in North America and 34 in Europe and Japan, said in a regulatory filing that it is offering 41.7 million shares on behalf of existing shareholders for $17 to $19 each.
For the six month period ending October 1, the company recorded net sales of $520.2 million and profit of $64.7 million. Profits more than doubled from the year-ago-period.
Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and the lead underwriters on the offering.