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STORE SPACES

Trending Stores: Cuyana, New York City

BY Marianne Wilson

Online women’s apparel brand has opened its first store in New York City, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

It’s the third permanent physical location for the start-up, which also has an outpost in its San Francisco hometown and another in Los Angeles. With its minimalist aesthetic, the SoHo space reflects the brand’s philosophy of “fewer, better,” and features a curated selection of wardrobe essentials, as well as on-sit monogramming.

Founded in 2013 by two young female entrepreneurs, Cuyana describes the New York store “as an experience created by women, for women.” According to a report by psfk, every aspect of store was planned and created with Cuyana shoppers in mind—it even has dedicated spaces for shoppers to put their purses down.

Cuyana combines its simple but stylish merchandise with a strong social message. Shoppers who select the “Lean Closet” option at checkout will receive a linen bag from the company to fill with the things they no longer want. After mailing the bag back to Cuyana with the included shipping label, the shopper will receive a $10 credit towards their next purchase. The donated clothing is given directly to victims of abuse, to help them get a fresh start.

As for the brand’s name, Cuyana means “to love” in the native language of co-founder and CEO Karla Gallardo, who hails from Ecuador.

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Suitsupply hits store milestone

BY Marianne Wilson

A Dutch menswear brand known for its affordable, expertly tailored suits and stylish vibe continues to expand its store footprint.

Suitsupply has opened its 100th store, on Newbury Street in Boston. The 9,000-sq.-ft., four-level store, the company’s 37th location in North America, reflects the brand’s destination location strategy and features a terrace where customers can relax and a cafe. The merchandise selection includes both off-the-rack and made-to-measure suits as well as separates and accessories. Services include on-the-spot alterations made by in-store tailors.

Founded online in 2000 as a vertically integrated brand, Suitsupply soon expanded into brick-and-mortar. It opened 27 new outposts in 2017. So far this year, the retailer has set up shop in Sydney, San Diego, St. Louis, Helsinki, Stockholm and Boston. It will open its first store in Frankfurt – and its sixth in Germany – this summer.

Moving forward, Suitsupply plans to continue to expand its physical footprint and grow its in-store and online business across North America, Europe and Asia. The company sees significant opportunity worldwide and expects the business will continue to grow.

“In a time when many brands are closing stores, we believe there is more growth ahead of us than behind us,” said Fokke de Jong, Suitsupply’s founder and CEO. “People are drawn to Suitsupply because of the energy and flair we bring to tailoring. They want to experience our brand and product both in person and online. We’re excited for the future and see much opportunity ahead.”

Click here for a video on Suitsupply.

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RH continues to expand with showcase destinations; developing smaller model

BY Marianne Wilson

RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) reported first-quarter earnings above Street expectations and upped its guidance as it continues to expand in high-end brick-and-mortar.

RH will open four new stores (“Galleries”) this year, with locations in Portland, Oregon (opened in March); Nashville, Tennessee; Yountville, California; and New York City. The latter three will include a dining experience.

The New York City site, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, will feature 90,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, with a transparent elevator that goes up to a glass-encased rooftop restaurant with retractable doors that open out to a landscaped park. (Also in Manhattan, in summer 2019, RH will open its first-ever hotel, called RH Guesthouse.)

“RH New York provides us the rare opportunity, in arguably the most important city in the world, to develop a ground up retail experience like no other,” stated RH chairman and CEO Gary Friedman. “Currently, our plan is to open in September pending the city completing the infrastructure and street work that has been massively disruptive to businesses in the neighborhood.”

In addition to its expansive gallery locations, RH is developed a new, smaller-sized prototype that will range in size from 33,000 sq. ft. inclusive of a hospitality experience to 29,000 sq. ft. without one. The company expects the smaller galleries will enable it to ramp from three to five new locations per year, to five to seven. RH is also looking at global expansion.

“We also believe there is tremendous potential for the RH brand internationally, and we continue to explore opportunities to open our first Gallery in London,” Friedman said.

RH earned $28.1 million, or $1.11 a share, in the period ended, versus a loss of $3.4 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, RH said it earned $33.5 million, or $1.33 a share. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $1.01 per share.

Sales fell 0.8% to $557 million, less than expected.

“We articulated at the beginning of the year that we will be managing the business with a bias for earnings versus revenue growth in fiscal 2018,” stated Friedman. “We will restrain ourselves from chasing low-quality sales at the expense of profitability like many in our industry, and instead focus on building an operating platform that will enable us to compete and win over the long term.”

Looking long term, Friedman said he saw a clear path to $4 billion to $5 billion in North American revenues.

Friedman said that company’s effort during the past year to consolidate its distribution center network from four facilities to two while streamlining operations throughout its supply chain, has resulted in a “significantly more efficient cost and working capital model.”

“We believe this new model will prove to be a long-term competitive advantage that will separate and distinguish RH’s operating results for years to come,” he said.

Displaying his signature bravura, Friedman noted that the strategies RH is pursuing — from opening the largest specialty retail experiences in the industry to continuing to mail catalogs to moving from a promotional to a membership model — are in direct conflict with the plans many other retailers are currently undertaking.

“We believe when you step back and consider: one, we are building a brand with no peer; two, we are creating a customer experience that cannot be replicated online; and three, we have total control of our brand from concept to customer, you realize what we are building is extremely rare in today’s retail landscape, and, we would argue, will also prove to be equally valuable,” he said.

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