In better times of our economy retail spaces played musical chairs with luxury houses, trading up to bigger spaces or better locations allowing smaller companies to join what we refer to as the Worth Avenue of New York. As the recession has dragged on its quite evident that the game has grounded to a halt with spaces sitting vacant waiting for anybody to occupy them.
The most prominent space is the one where The Sharper Image once stood between 72nd & 73rd street. The space was vacated in August 2007 and is still waiting for a company to move in. A few block up on 76th Street a new player has moved in Nanette Lepore. The space is quite large and the design layout is quite tasteful for the Upper East Side crowd, but the question remains does the Nanette Lepore customer reside here? The coming months lay ahead and we will see if she can survive this most uncertain marketplace.
Back to 72nd Street a major move which happened was the complete demolition of the Polo Ralph Lauren space. We do not know if the company owns the space or land but it has been served with a complete stop work order. For as long as we have lived on the Upper East Side it's the first time any real estate space has been leveled to the ground, creating an eye sore for the community and could be a noise issue for the residents of 740 Park Avenue if and when construction resumes.
As we moved down the avenue to the upper to mid 60's Krizia let go of their space and moved to another location a few blocks away. As for rumors of a high end Italian fashion house moving out on 70th Street nothing yet has happened. They do have a space on 5th Avenue but no plans have been set.
The latest victim seems to be Lambertson Truex which moved into their space on Madison Ave only one year ago but due to a chapter 11 filing has been forced to shut it's doors.
If current trends continue we feel more stores will be moving out leaving Madison Avenue a retailers wasteland. At the moment some stores are holding sales to stay afloat such as Chanel which in previous years has never had a sale for it's goods.