REAL ESTATE

Uniqlo opening two global flagships in Big Apple in October

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Japanese fast-fashion giant Uniqlo is set to open its largest global flagship to date, an 89,000-sq.-ft. store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The store, which will also be the larger single retailer on Fifth Avenue, will open on Oct. 14.

One week later, Uniqlo will debut a second flagship in Manhattan, a 64,000-sq.-ft. store 34th St. It will be the chain’s second largest global flagship

To celebrate the store openings, the retailer has launched a number of partnerships and activities in New York City including support of a new, outdoor roller skating rink below the High Line elevated pedestrian walkway and opening three, pop-up shops.

Uniqlo, a subsidiary brand of Fast Retailing Co., opened its first global flagship store in New York’s SoHo district in 2006, and also opened flagship stores in London in 2007, Paris in 2009, Shanghai in 2010, Shinsaibashi in 2010, and Taipei in September.

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REAL ESTATE

Saks Off 5th announces five additional locations for 2012

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Saks Inc.’s Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th announced the addition of five stores for 2012. The new stores will be located in upscale outlet, lifestyle, or strip centers.

The new locations are in Merrimack, N.H., Syracuse, N.Y., Livermore, Calif., Grand Prairie, Texas, and Nashville. The Merrimack store will be the first Off 5th in New Hampshire, and the store in Nashville will be a replacement store for the one lost in the 2010 flood in Tennessee.

"There are numerous opportunities for new Off 5th stores throughout the country. We will carefully weigh our options and open in select new markets that we believe have the greatest demand for our distinct merchandise offerings. The further expansion of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th is an exciting step for us," said Robert Wallstrom, president of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

Saks recently opened new Off 5th stores in Kansas City, Kan., and Oklahoma City, and plans to open stores in Charleston, S.C., Northbrook, Ill., and Sugar Land, Texas (replacement store) later this year.

The stores will feature an open air loft-like environment and will range from 25,000 sq. ft. to 28,000 sq. ft. The layout offers maximized efficiency and flexibility, enabling easy change. The space will be bright, uncluttered with no hard aisles. All fixtures will be on casters, ensuring easy movement and all hardware will be interchangeable between fixtures. Since its debut in 2008, this innovative store design has been well received and set a new standard in off price shopping.

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REAL ESTATE

Banana Republic flagship to debut in Paris in December

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Gap announced Monday that it will open its first Banana Republic store in France in Paris in early December. The 15,952-sq.-ft. store will be located on Avenue des Champs Élysées, one of the most popular international shopping destinations in the world.

“Following the success of our London and Milan openings, we are delighted to bring Banana Republic to Paris and take another exciting step in our international growth strategy,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president, International, Gap.

The new store features architecture and materials inspired by the heritage of France but with connections back to America with an exhibition of iconic imagery curated by Michael Hoppen. Many of the building’s original architectural details have been retained and updated; the contemporary white and black diamond marble floors combined with limestone, sweeping marble feature staircase and an old era style lift accessing the main shopping area lit by a Charles Edwards chandelier. French Art Deco antiques, curved ebony paneling and black enamel detailing create the feeling of a residential environment while a series of neoclassical arches and vaults evoke a shopping promenade.

Last year, the company opened its first Banana Republic store in Italy in Milan. In 2010, the company also made Banana Republic products available to European customers online by launching a dedicated e-commerce site.

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