Topshop opens flagship in midtown New York

British apparel retailer Topshop will open a new flagship in Manhattan this week. The midtown, four-level store will be located on Fifth Avenue and 49th Street and be the second largest store after the 90,000 sq. ft. flagship in London.

The London retail location generates about $250 million in revenue a year and the 33,000 sq. ft. location in New York is expected to hit at least $80 million a year in sales, reported Women's Wear Daily.

"Every retailer wants to get a great site on Fifth Avenue. It's where you want to put together a great story. We've been patient," Sir Philip Green, Topshop's owner, told Women's Wear Daily. The retailer also has another site in SoHo on Broadway and Broome Street.

Green spoke of the advantages of the store's large size, ceiling height and good natural light. The storefront expands 100 feet west down the block, an attribute unique to the specific flagship. The company strives to make each flagship unique.

The opening of the first New York store in 2009 was plagued by construction and permit delays. Green said the new location has also been a long journey, especially due to the wait time necessary for some businesses to vacate the location.

The merchandise is complete with jumpsuits, skirts, leggings, skinny jeans, outerwear and more. Ninety-eight percent of the store's inventory is Topshop and Topman labeled products. Up front the store sells Fifth Avenue exclusives, with 75 stockkeeping units in women's and 60 in men's, such as sequined and beaded evening dresses and long, lined men's tuxedo jackets.

What shoppers will not see are sales signs. The retailer does not like to be considered in the fast-fashion category but it does put a premium on frequently changing out what's on the selling floor. Green said 20 percent of the store will be altered a week.

Visuals include a 45-foot-wide backlit graphic in the back of the store and giant photos of model Cara Delevingne, the face of Topshop. There are lamps hanging down and 65 mannequins in total to spotlight the mix and match approach.

Topshop has largely expanded its presence in the United States through a shops-in-shop deal with Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN). Part of Nordstrom's campaign to woo younger shoppers, the brand is now in 51 Nordstrom stores and expanding its solo retail presence into cities such as Houston and Atlanta.

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

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