I always look forward to a trip to New York this time of year. A walk around Fifth Avenue, Times Square, SoHo and beyond offers a chance to see retailers dressed to the nines in seasonal trim and awe-inspiring windows. The annual Retail Design Collective is a great opportunity to see new products and showrooms throughout the city. And who doesn’t enjoy all the fun and mingling that goes on at the PAVE Gala and the showroom parties!
While you’re in town for the RDC, December 5-7, don’t forget to join VMSD for the session, “Master Class,” on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 9:30-11 a.m. at 7W New York. This panel discussion on department stores will include the latest design strategies, a tour of leading stores from around the globe and a Q&A with Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, FRCH Design Worldwide and Gensler on the future of department store retailing. (For more information, visit retaildesigncollective.com.)
Of course, New York is rife with new, exciting retail concepts to take in. Retailers put their best foot forward at the end of the year, and 2012 is no disappointment. While you’re in town, why not check in on the renovations at Macy’s Herald Square, explore Gap’s first Piperlime store in SoHo and visit the new Ted Baker flagship on Fifth Avenue. VMSD spotlights some additional must-see places in this month’s issue, including Ivanka Trump’s revamped shop in SoHo that’s evolved from a jewelry boutique into a true lifestyle store. On Madison Avenue, Ippolita delights the senses with an environment that blends craftsmanship, beauty and artistry. (See pages 20-30 for more on these new retail concepts.)
The momentum is sure to carry into 2013 as demand for top-notch retail real estate continues to grow. David Greenbaum, president of Vornado Realty Trust’s New York division, told Women’s Wear Daily that retail rents are at an all-time high, approaching $3000 per square foot in places on upper Fifth Avenue. “The New York retail market is very strong, driven by the continued growth in tourism, which is expected to reach 52 million visitors this year,” Greenbaum says.
As we celebrate another year of retail and design, we toast the creativity, drive and innovation that keep this industry moving forward. On behalf of the staff at VMSD and our parent company ST Media Group, we wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year.