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With only a few days left in 2009, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (three years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the best collabs to the worst pop-up shops. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.
2010 opened a window to a plethora of new retail opportunities and these brands acted fast to expand. We barely got a chance to stop and smell the sweet scent of one blossoming store before we heard word of the next one. These retailers have conquered Manhattan in a short amount of time and we'll no doubt witness further activity from 2010's Biggest Retail Conquistadors...
· J.Crew: Okay, so only two stores opened, but this was the year for J. Crew to expand on specific segments of their target market—those who are men and those who are getting married. First, the men's shop opened in mid-May. Then, shortly after the men were shopping around the roped-off suit boutique, they could also get outfitted for their wedding.
Just a few weeks shy of Summer, the Bridal boutique opened, giving Manhattan men and women a new one-stop-shop where they can dress their entire bridal party in time for their summer weddings.
· Urban Outfitters: First, there was Upper West Side and two months after, we saw the retailer open another store on 86th Street on the Upper East Side. The retailer even ventured to Fifth Avenue just a few weeks ago and left us wondering where next? As usual with chain store, we didn't see much variation between the three locations, even though they tried to do that weird faux-local signage concept on the Upper West Side.
Conquistadors to watch for 2011:
· Michael Kors: MK Inc. plans to conquer a lot of North American territory, but we're just going to focus on the three Manhattan stores and agree that this brand is on a mission. A shop recently opened in the West Village, offering all Michael Kors collections and kind customer service. The same concept will be carried to a planned relocation of the Madison Avenue store next year. We're even looking forward to the Fifth Avenue location as well, said to be open in Spring 2011, and we'll be keeping our ears open to hear any buzz on further openings as MK Inc. continues its conquests.
· Uniqlo: As of now, there is only one Uniqlo location in North America. After four successful years in Soho, we suppose it's about time that the Japanese clothing brand realized that Manhattan is the perfect area to do even more business. Two new stores are due to open next year—one on Fifth Avenue and the other in Herald Square. Together, they will equal the only three existing American locations for now, that is.
· All Racked Recaps 2010 [Racked NY]