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After 12 years at 477 Broadway, Pearl River Mart is packing up its paper lanterns and straw mats once again. Crain's New York reports that the home goods store known for its super-low price points will exit its three-floor, 30,000-square-foot home by the end of 2015. The reason? Rents, of course—company president Ching Yeh Chen said that they pay more than $100,000 per
year month in rent as it is, and that rent is set to increase more than five times when the lease is up in December.
"When we moved here 12 years ago, there was nobody around," Chen told the publication. "Right now this is one of the hottest spots in New York." In the home goods arena, stores like Muji have come in to the south, and Urban Outfitters's store north of Houston Street has a large section dedicated to decorating. And though it has yet to be confirmed, Zara could be adding a home goods section to its massive new store one block away.
Pearl River Mart originally opened on Elizabeth Street in 1971 and was previously located at the corner of Broadway and Canal before moving a bit north. And while the building owner claimed to Crain's that he is still negotiating with Pearl River Mart to stay on a single floor at 477 Broadway, Chen said she is already looking for a smaller home south of Canal Street, where rents go for around $80 per square foot (the Real Estate Board of New York says rents closer to Houston Street are more than ten times that).
A smaller home means that Pearl River Mart will no longer have more than 17,000 products available on the shelves, but Chen plans to keep up the e-commerce site during the transition. Regardless of what the future holds, Chen is happy that her store has become a go-to for local homeowners looking for a taste of Chinese culture. "We were trying to build a bridge by opening a store between the east and the west, and we feel maybe the mission is accomplished."