- Marjorie van Elven |
The day has come. Hudson Yards, the largest and most expensive private real estate development in US history, opens its retail & restaurant area this Friday in Manhattan’s West Side after five years of renovations and 25 billion US dollars invested. Located in what used to be an abandoned rail yard, Hudson Yards spans over 18 million square feet, one million of which is dedicated to retail space. It includes more than 100 shops and restaurants, office buildings, 4,000 residences, two art centers, a public school and a hotel.
Fashion retailers choosing Hudson Yards for their New York debut
Fashion shops inside the complex will range from fast fashion (H&M, Zara, Uniqlo) to luxury (Dior, Fendi, Cartier) with several retailers choosing Hudson Yards to debut their first store in New York. Neiman Marcus, which operates 43 stores across the United States but still didn’t have any in New York, is unveiling a three-floor flagship at Hudson Yards. Spanning over 18,000 square feet, the space provides “physical and digital experiences in a way not seen at other stores”, according to CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck, including interactive fitting rooms, intelligent mirrors, a customization area, a stage for live performances and even a full-functioning kitchen where live cooking will take place.
UK-based luxury swimwear brand Heidi Klein has also opted for a experiential strategy in its first New York store at Hudson Yards. Their retail space resembles a beach retreat, with decorative palm leaves and coconut scent. The home goods section even mimics a home so that customers can "just hang out” and shop the items they like.
Hudson Yards has also been chosen by digitally native brands moving from clicks to bricks. After testing the waters with a few pop-up stores, men’s activewear brand Rhone, Italian footwear label M.Gemi and menswear brand Mack Weldon are opening their first permanent locations at Hudson Yards today. “In many ways, Hudson Yards is the ideal location for our first store”, said Mack Weldon’s Founder and CEO Brian Berger in a statement. “Thousands of our current and potential customers will be passing through Hudson Yards daily. This aligns perfectly with our brand’s mission to create a more convenient customer experience, and is a unique opportunity to activate Mack Weldon in the physical world while we test and learn for future investment”.
The new complex will also mark Rudsak’s first foray into the US market. Founded in 1994, the Canadian outerwear retailer is looking to expand internationally. "New York City was a natural choice as the location for the first international Rudsak store because the city's ethos is the nearest and dearest to ours”, said Founder Evik Asatoorian in a statement.
Hudson Yards is expected to receive nearly 125,000 people each day and contribute about 19 billion US dollars annually to New York City’s GDP.
Photos: courtesy of Hudson Yards, Neiman Marcus and Mack Weldon