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It's been a big year for New York City retail (and not just because Racked was born in March). This week, we'll relive the glorious highlights and gruesome lowlights. We've recapped the year's most ridiculous lines, saddest goodbyes, most menacing retail presences, most notable Street Scenes and turbulent retail stretches. Now, we're diving into the year's most important new stores.
Photo by Keith Kin Yan
5) Tom Ford: Not for plebes, the debut of former Gucci designer Tom Ford's uptown flagship was truly one for the books. First of all, despite massive hype, practically no one showed up. We braved the rain, however, and made our way inside to check out the uber-fancy bar, the shirt room and the private VIP dressing area—which we were promptly kicked out of. We did not end up dropping thousands of dollars on bespoke suiting.
4) Whole Foods Bowery: What doesn't this grocery store have? Um, sushi conveyor belt? Check. Awesome beer room? Check. Aisles and aisles full of organic produce, pricey meats and cheeses and other generally expensive foodstuffs? Check. Hot singles? Ehhhh...not so much.
Opening day at Tiffany's new Wall Street store.
3) Tiffany Fidi: Tiffany painted Wall Street blue in October with the opening of the company's glittery jewel box of a store. Crowds gathered for free champagne. And cookies! And to peer at diamond-encrusted baubles, of course.
Crowds outside of Apple MePa on opening night
2) Apple Mepa: The level of excitement for Apple's third Manhattan outpost was truly unexpected. Thousands of people gathered in the bitter cold for a shot at a free iPod or iMac. The store, one of the world's biggest, is equipped with a three-story spiral glass staircase and a 46-foot-long Genius Bar, but does not have public bathroom, strangely enough.
The public scrambles for desktop items at the Muji launch
1) Muji: The people went wild for Muji this year, as the culty Japanese chain opened its first stateside outpost on Broadway in Soho. The store was promptly swarmed with shoppers eager for the company's brandless, utilitarian clothing kitchenware, bedding and furniture.