The Real Deal New York

Madison Ave. BID luring Brazilian and Chinese tourists

June 02, 2011 04:56PM

As part of an initiative to Bolster The Madison Avenue retail corridor
between 57th and 86th streets, the area’s business improvement district
has handed Chinese and Brazilian tourists more than 10,000 coupons for
shops and galleries in the last month. Crain’s reported that the vouchers,
known as “Keys to Madison Avenue,” are meant to remedy falling
foot traffic that hasn’t returned with the recovery. Retail rents
between 57th and 72nd streets on the avenue sit at just $919 a square foot compared to pre-recession rates that topped out at more than $1,200 per square foot, according to recent market reports. Fifty-five Madison Avenue
businesses have signed on for the promotion, which is sponsored by
American Express, the Department of Commerce and NYC & Company,
including Montblanc and jewelers David Yurman and George Jensen, who
give out free gifts to keyholders who make certain purchases. The keys
are being distributed through tour operators and travel agents in Brazil
and China, as those countries were responsible for 423,000 and 306,00 tourists in
2010, respectively. [Crain’s]

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