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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Amid the litany of high end retailers who have been compelled to shutter their doors due to a precipitous drop in revenue from the average shopper has been the iconic fashion designer, Ralph Lauren.  Mr. Lauren is better known in common parlance amongst native New Yorkers as Ralph Lipschitz, originally from the Bronx.  

Since the lights have been shut for the final time in Mr. Lauren’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, it has been reported that the struggling fashion house has been still shelling almost $70,000 per day in rent.  

Back in 2013, Mr. Lauren took out a 16-year lease at the tony location of 711 Fifth Avenue which totaled $400 million. Breaking that down, it amounts to a $25 million payout to the landlords per annum or $68,493 per day.

Since Lauren is no longer occupying the retail space on Fifth Avenue, it has been reported that no other business has relocated to the spot. Moreover, according to a report in the NY Post, the property’s owner has yet to sign a deal with a commercial real estate broker to help hawk the retail block that boasts 39,000 square feet.  The building is owned by the Coca-Cola Co.

Suffice it to say that industry insiders and other observers of the fashion scene were a bit more than shocked to learn that Mr. Lauren pulled out of his flagship location earlier this month. Speaking to the NY Post, Tom Cusick, the president of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District said, “I don’t recall any company pulling out of a location with a long-term lease after such a short time on Fifth Avenue. “That gives you a good indication of how poorly they were doing at that location that they are paying rent there on an empty space,” one source told the New York Post.

The person who brought Mr. Lauren and Coca Cola together in the 2013 lease deal was CBRE’s   Richard Hodos. He earned REBNY’s Retail Deal of the Year Award for his efforts in doing so.

Stefan Larsson, the firmer CEO of Ralph Lauren, who vacated his post earlier this year, had been implementing a $140 million cost-savings plan for the struggling company, which included closing stores, selling off smaller labels and cutting back on discounts. 

The Real Deal has reported that “Appear Here” a startup company based in the UK has been seeking ways of making a few bucks on the ever increasing rate of retail vacancies in Manhattan. They are now offering landlords the opportunity to rent their otherwise empty stores on a short-term basis.

Thus far, the startup has garnered exclusive deals to list pop-up stores for the Blackstone Group and is also working such prominent landlords as Thor Equities and Simon Property Group.  

Current listings include an 8,000-square foot storefront at Jeff Sutton and Aurora Capital’s 511 Fifth Avenue asking $45,000 per day, a 50,000-square-foot warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard asking $12,000 per day and a 5,000-square-foot store in the Meatpacking District asking $15,000 per day, according to a report in the Real Deal.

By: Melvin Myers