I went to the Topshop opening last Thursday, April 2nd to see what all the madness was about. It was clear that a lot of the neighboring businesses were hoping to capitalize on the hype surrounding the British retailer’s opening.
Pinkberry was giving out free samples of yogurt. Maxwell, the clothing store next door that belongs to J. Crew, was handing out doughnuts and coffee throughout the day. How that possibly educated anyone as to what Maxwell was actually selling was unclear, and unfortunately the Topshop line pretty much blocked anyone from even entering the store.
Delicatessen was also on hand giving people in line restaurant menus. However, it seems that the opening of the 28,000 square foot U.S. Topshop flagship store on Broadway between Broome and Grand streets has not helped its neighbors.
Crain’s is reporting that the majority of nearby retailers were disappointed by the lack of spillover traffic. Louisa Soihit, a salesperson and office worker at 483 Broadway’s long-standing clothing and sneaker specialty store Yellow Rat Bastard noted that the shop did not see a significant increase in customers, saying: "There were tons of people outside, but not coming into our store. Topshop attracts a lot of people, so I’m assuming they might see us across the street and come in. Hopefully this will be a good summer.”
The same thing was reported by other nearby shops, including SoHo Café and Yet Jewelry Café, a small accessories shop.
Personally, I’m curious to see whether this will change in the near future, and also how Topshop will ultimately fare. The retailer does not believe in marking down clothing beyond their designated sale periods, and as we’ve seen with Abercrombie & Fitch, that could be a losing strategy.
I did not see many people actually purchasing items when I visited the store. I noticed that a number of people were shocked by the price-points which are significantly higher than H & M, who is often considered to be the retail giant’s biggest competitor.