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Checking Up On The Plaza Retail Collection

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It's been almost a year since we named The Plaza Hotel's underground Plaza Retail Collection as the Worst New Retail Stretch of 2008 and we're wondering if it just might be clinching the title again this year. 2009 didn't bring much more luck for the two-story luxury mini-mall with hard to find entrances, since it lost shirtmaker Eton of Sweden and haute lingerie brand Marlies Dekker.

In all fairness however, they did gain Douglas Hannant and the Eloise kids shop this year, but is that enough to buoy them through 2010 before the rumored Food Hall opens? We stopped by last week and were surprised to find a crowd downstairs at the Retail Collection. Still, they were confined to two areas: the Demel bakery at the foot of the escalators and the Eloise shop, which had just debuted and looks like a mini knock-off of American Girl, only done up in pink instead of AG's red.

Also still down below, although very much feeling the ghost town vibe, is the pop up shop of Harlem designer Nicole Romano. We didn't see anyone there?not even staff, and we're not sure it deserves the "pop up" name anymore because it's been there since April and will probably have the same run as some of the other "permanent" tenants.

See our small gallery above for list of the current stories, which still include the Vertu mobile phones, Seize sur Vingt, MCM and Ghurka, although nothing more interesting than those.
· Now Open: Douglas Hannant [Racked]
· Plaza's Got 99 Problems, and Retail Collection's One [Racked]
· Racked Recap 2008: Worst New Retail Stretch [Racked]

5th Avenue and 59th Street, New York, NY