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Downtown Indie Boutiques Try to Recover After the Blackout

The Erica Weiner store. Photo by Brian Harkin.
The Erica Weiner store. Photo by Brian Harkin.

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Now that the lights are back on and downtown Manhattan is returning to normal, the area's independent boutiques are trying to figure out how to make up for a lost week of business. Fashionista surveyed the scene and discovered a few ongoing themes. Social media was a lifeline for boutiques like Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Duo, who used it to reach home-bound customers. And nearly everyone is trying to recoup some losses by offering post-hurricane sales, although many store owners are leery of looking like they're profiteering off a natural disaster.

Jeweler Erica Weiner, for example, points out that her company was still responsible for rent and employee salaries even though their Nolita store was closed all week. She and her staff decided to hold an online sale, but first, they had a serious debate about whether it was a tacky or insensitive move.

In the end, they decided that people would understand just how much her business needed the help. And sales wound up being so good that she's donating 15% of proceeds to relief efforts. "It's going to negate the sale," she told Fashionista, "but we feel like we can handle it, the business will be okay, maybe a little tight for a month or two. But you've got to donate, it's too sad not to."
· How Sandy Affected Downtown Retail [Fashionista]
· Fifteen Ways to Help New York Retail Help Hurricane Victims [Racked NY]

Erica Weiner Store

173 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012 212 334 6383 Visit Website

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

123 Norfolk Street, New York, NY 10002 212-673-6405 Visit Website