Banana Republic unveils New York flagship

Banana Republic has unveiled its Manhattan flagship on Fifth Avenue. The new store in the Flatiron District is part of the brand's all-around makeover.

Because of increasing competition in fashion and apparel, Banana Republic has been changing its image through the leadership of Creative Director Marissa Webb, reported Women's Wear Daily.

Banana Republic's (NYSE:GPS) new location spans two levels and 27,892 sq. ft, including 14,338 sq. ft. of selling space. In the past, the brand kept consistency with a monochromatic color pallet in its shopping spaces, but now the retailer has infused itself with a bit more color, along with a greater variety of casual clothes to accompany the signature dress clothes.

The location features men's and women's collections, replacing the separate stores that had once been open two blocks south. The new store's selection will also include collections from third-party vendors.

This flagship is not intended to set the tone for future stores. Banana Republic wants each location to be unique. The entrance has a 20-foot-long beached-wood table with products ranging from gold jewelry and sneakers to notebooks.

"It's a big space, and not necessarily what Banana Republic thinks ideal for the future," Webb told Women's Wear Daily. "One of the things we are looking at going forward are smaller spaces—more intimate spaces that have personality. This flagship is boutique-y in a big space. It's divided into little sections. Each area has a different personality."

The first floor houses women's apparel and includes a canopy display for a shop-in-shop feel. Further back are the jewelry, cash registers and fitting rooms. Menswear is located upstairs, where shoppers will find a glassed-in shop-in-shop displaying merchandise from the Heritage collection as well as third-party items such as skincare products and leather goods.

Banana Republic joins other newly opened and revamped fashion retailers populating Fifth Avenue. British retailer TopShop opened a flagship location in Manhattan at the end of 2014 and this summer Bonobos will open its largest flagship to date at 95 Fifth Avenue.

For more:
-See this Women's Wear Daily article (subscription)

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