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Madison Avenue has seen a tremendous retail boom within the past two-and-a-half years, with over 50 stores opening on the strip in the past 18 months. Most of them are from high-end contemporary brands like Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, and Rebecca Taylor, with international brands like Scutz and Belstaff hitching along for the ride as well. However, neighborhood stalwarts are feeling the pressure.
Case in point is Peter Elliot, a menswear store that has resided at 1070 Madison Avenue for over twenty years. The Times reports that the shop's owner, Eliot Rabin, just sent out a letter to all of his customers letting them know that the shop will be closing, due to rising rents when his lease expires. The article explains: "The departure of a store like Peter Elliot represents the end of an era, as independent shops are priced out of a shopping destination that had catered to the carriage trade."
In order to keep the men's store on Madison in business, Eliot would apparently need to sell an additional $1 million worth of inventory per year. The 70-year-old store owner isn't naive to the neighborhood's changes, though. He told the paper that lately, he's found himself saying, "You can't fall in love with your inventory, and you can't fall in love with your location."
He adds, "Once Brooks Brothers and J. Crew move in, it basically becomes all about trophy properties. The real estate agents have said that Lexington Avenue is the new Madison Avenue, but frankly, not in my mind." Speaking of which, his two other Peter Elliot outposts on Lexington Avenue will remain in business. He also has a womenswear store on Madison Avenue across the street, though only time will tell if that store is able to withstand the changes.
· Mr. Madison Moves On [NYT]
· Nearly 50 Stores Opened on Madison Ave in the Past 18 Months [Racked NY]