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Racked Recap 2008: 10 Spaces to Watch in the New Year

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With only a few days left in 2008, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, of one major economic collapse and many minor shopping frenzies. Folks, it's the annual (two years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the year's best sales to the year's best store windows. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

The retail gods toyed with us often this year, promising things like Topshop and a potential Apple store in the Financial District and yet delivering no such thing. Will they take pity on us in 2009? As we head into the new year, let's tour the ten spaces we'll be watching most closely.

10.) Crocs Soho: We first heard about this unlikely arrival back at the tail end of 2007. It was slated for this summer, but since work doesn't appear to have started until September, we're assuming it won't appear until mid-2009.

9.) Hollister: The second week of July 2009, what was once a Pottery Barn at 600 Broadway and Houston will rise again as Abercrombie & Fitch's even snottier younger sibling. And you know what that means: Tourist lines.

8.) Green Depot: No one could have predicted that the Bowery would get an environmentally-friendly building supply company this year, but there's more than one way to yuppify a street. It was slated to open this fall at 777 Bowery, so presumably it's coming soon.

7.) JC Penney: Coming summer 2009, Manhattan Mall is getting its first ever Penney's, just down the street from Macy's. And it's going to be "beautiful," or so we're told.

6.) Hermés Men: Jumping on the men's-only bandwagon with J.Crew, Hermés plans to open a men's store in the old Luca Luca space at Madison Avenue and 62nd Street. It should fit in a little better than that other big UES incomer, H&M.

5.) Ports 1961: In September of 2007, we heard the luxury brand was coming to 2 Ninth Avenue in MePa. As of September 2008, it didn't look like they'd gotten very far, but maybe 2009 will be their year.

4.) Matthew Williamson: The former Pucci designer brings his colorful patterns (previewed on the storefront's plywood) to West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District. Slated opening: This spring.

3>) Apple FiDi: We're always hearing rumors about Apple stores in various unlikely locations (Williamsburg, anybody?) but this one looks pretty solid. If if happens, which it probably will, then it should appear in the iconic Corner building where Broad meets Wall Street.

2.) Barneys MePa: After a year in which we were tormented by rumors, the news was confirmed in November. Barneys is coming to 402 W. 13th Street sometime next year.

1.) Topshop : Such a tease! We'd hoped the British retailer's giant Soho store would be open this October, but it seems to be bogged down in bureaucracy. Last we heard, it'll welcome shoppers sometime next March.


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