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Why Warby Parker Loves Its Retail Stores

Quick takes on the retail news making headlines in New York City.

Driely S.

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NEW YORK CITY—Warby Parker co-CEOs Dave Giboa and Neil Blumenthal explained to the Re/code Decode podcast just how integral brick-and-mortar stores are to its business model that was once solely focused on e-commerce. "We can't be married to a particular mode of selling," Blumenthal said. "We were never so dogmatic to say, ‘No bricks and mortar, ever!'" They have three stores in the city, and a fourth coming to Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN—According to the Real Estate Board of New York, retail rents are sharply increasing in neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Fort Greene, and Dumbo — but it's no surprise that Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue (between Grand Avenue and North 12th Street) still commands the highest asking price, WWD points out in its summary. Blame that Whole Foods complex.

SOHO—BoConcept will close at 69 Greene Street in the coming weeks, so the entire store is 30% off as of today. The furniture store will also announce weekly flash sales on its Facebook page with discounts up to 70% off on specific categories. In the meantime, BoConcept is looking for another store in the neighborhood.

EAST VILLAGE—Hopefully, you've already paid your final respects to Broadway Panhandler. EV Grieve noticed that the cookware shop has officially shuttered after 40 years in various locations, following owner Norman Kornbluth's retirement announcement earlier this year. A very limited inventory remains on the company's website.