Big gains offset by bigger losses in Manhattan retail shakeup

Retail apocalypse doesn't bother Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, who are playing the long game and betting on Manhattan
June 14, 2019 10:45AM

Neiman Marcus at Hudson Yards 

Neiman Marcus at Hudson Yards

This year, New York City will lose 340,000 square feet of department stores. While some are zigging, others are zagging: Lord & Taylor, Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue are out, and Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are in.

Nordstrom, historically reluctant to open physical stores in Manhattan, will open its flagship at Extell Development’s Central Park Tower, just across the street from its men’s shop at Moinian Group’s 3 Columbus Circle.

“Manhattan does not need another department store,” president Jamie Nordstrom said, according to Bloomberg. “But we think they need a Nordstrom.”

Neiman Marcus is hoping to cash in on foot traffic on the West Side, with a 188,000 square foot shop in the Hudson Yards mall Related Companies predicted it would draw at least 24 million people and generate $1 billion a year in retail sales.

The shopping shakeup is just the latest symptom in the war on brick and mortar as retailers struggle to compete with Amazon. The precipitous losses follow three straight years of net gains for retail square footage added to Manhattan’s department stores, according to Bloomberg.

And stores sticking around Manhattan aren’t slouching — existing department stores invested over $500 million to overhaul their Manhattan digs.

Jamie Nordstrom said the luxury retail giant is playing the long game, and Neiman Marcus is betting they will entice Manhattan shoppers with extra services and luxury wares. But it remains to be seen how that will pan out. [Bloomberg] — Georgia Kromrei