With a Union Square flagship that’s not yet recovered from the pandemic, why on earth would third generation retailers Ken and Jim Giddon open a second Rothmans store in NYC?
“The obituary for NYC has been written many times, yet never has it come to pass,” says Ken. “If you’ve been in the city lately, you’d know that New York is back! It’s vibrant, exciting, young, and very different than it used to be. We weren’t looking to open another New York City men’s store, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t resist.”
Admitting that he’s had good luck with flexible landlords in his three extant locations (Union Square, Scarsdale, Bronxville) and that business in the suburban stores is ‘killing it’, Giddon shares his excitement about this new project. “Manhattan West is a mixed-use development from Brookfield Property running along Ninth Avenue between West 31st and West 33rd. Brookfield has been building it for 10 years, creating a special neighborhood by seeking tenants with real ‘New York City chops.’ Rothmans has been an independent NYC retailer since 1926 so we clearly qualify. We’re 25 yards from a 35,000 state-of-the-art Peloton flagship studio; there’s also a Whole Foods, three Danny Meyer restaurants, and much more. It will launch with a massive celebration on September 28th; our store will open shortly after.”
The Manhattan West Rothmans will be 2,000 square feet vs. 11,000 in the Union Square flagship, 3,500 in Scarsdale, and 1,000 in Bronxville. “We can be really nimble with our assortment planning, starting with a mix of tailored, denim and sportswear and rotating to bring in new. We’re noticing that even when men are not wearing suits, they’re starting to dress up more. Our focus is great stuff at great prices: we’re selling a lot of LBM sportscoats, Peter Millar, Faherty, and Rails.”
Asked about the risk involved, Giddon quotes Warren Buffet: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” MR salutes the risk-takers and wishes much success to Ken and Jim!