A possible competitor to such fast fashion powerhouses as Forever 21 and H&M, this Dublin-based chain has been a huge hit in Europe, where it currently operates more than 270 locations. Primark’s first U.S. store will open in 2015 in a 70,000-sq.-ft. space at the high-profile Downtown Crossing project in Boston. In addition, in October the chain signed a deal with Sears Holdings Corp. to lease seven locations in Northeastern U.S. from the department store operator, including at New York’s Staten Island Mall and Philadelphia’s King of Prussia Mall.
A brainchild of Swedish fast fashion giant H&M, COS might be the one to watch out for as most likely to enter every mall in the country. The chain offers more timeless and slightly more expensive pieces than H&M, with $125 dresses and $99 pairs of jeans—as the company explains “COS prices start where H&M’s finish.” Cos already operates approximately 46 stores in Western Europe, and it opened its first two U.S. stores this fall, including a 5,683-sq.-ft. location on North Beverly Drive in Los Angeles and a 4,950-sq.-ft. in New York’s Soho neighborhood.
& Other Stories
Another H&M spin-off, & Other Stories sells curated apparel and accessories at decidedly un-fast fashion prices. Dresses start at approximately $70, while the cheapest pair of shoes costs $150. & Other Stories recently opened its first U.S. store, a 6,400-sq.-ft. location in Soho. A company spokesperson says that for the moment, there are no plans for additional stores in the U.S. In total, the brand operates 14 stores worldwide.
Just when you thought that Forever 21 was everywhere, the fast fashion favorite has launched a new concept, boasting a men’s department and even cheaper prices, with many shirts and pants selling for under $10. The first F21 Red store opened at an 18,000-sq.-ft. location in South Gate, Calif. in May. More stores are coming, in the 15,000-sq.-ft. to the 18,000-sq.-ft. range, likely at power centers and lifestyle centers, according to Jim Davis, senior vice president of leasing with commercial real estate firm Olshan Properties. “I would say that this is a concept that Forever 21 will grow based on opportunities, they are looking for locations all over the country,” says Davis.
Though the precise purpose of the first Amazon store in New York remains shrouded in secrecy, chances are that like Apple and Microsoft before it, the online shopping powerhouse will want to expand to multiple retail locations. For now, all that we know about Amazon’s inagural physical store is that it will open on 34th Street in Manhattan this holiday shopping season. The store will likely allow customers and delivery services to pick up same-day orders, but its function may be expanded in the future.
A potential new competitor for Lululemon and Athleta, this Australian retailer specializes in women’s athletic gear, including $64 “flashdance” pants and $40 tanks. Today, Lorna Jane operates close to 40 stores in Western states, including California, Arizona and Washington. But the chain would eventually like to grow in Southeastern and Northeastern markets. Lorna Jane stores average 2,000 to 2,500 sq. ft. and, according to Davis, the retailer can fit into different types of formats, from street locations to lifestyle centers to enclosed malls.
The make-up brand, purchased by cosmetics giant L’Oreal in 2012, has just opened its first store at Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach, Calif. The 1,000-sq.-ft. store comes with a coffee bar and an interactive photo booth. Though plans for a further rollout remain shrouded in secrecy, a second store will open in London this December and there are indications there may be locations on the East Coast by 2015. “We plan to be bi-coastal at some point,” said a company spokesperson.
This British Columbia-based chain, named for the first reptile to develop feathers, specializes in outdoor wear, including insulated jackets, fleece “layers,” and duffle bags. Prices range from $29 for a baseball cap to $575 for a hardshell men’s jacket. Act’teryx opened its first U.S. store in Seattle in 2013, followed by stores at Calhoun Square in Minneapolis and CityCenterDC in Washington, D.C. in 2014. Another store is scheduled to open in Portland next year. Arc’teryx stores range from roughly 2,500 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft. plus.
This U.K.-based shoe and accessories chain just debuted in New York, and plans to open another store at the World Trade Center mall next year. According to a company spokesperson, “The great thing about Dune is that we have really broad customer appeal, so our demographic is more defined by lifestyle and attitude than by age. For our customers, it’s about investing in stylish, wearable pieces that translate this season’s fashion trends in a relevant way.” Prices range from $65 for high heel shoes to upwards of $300 for boots. The size of Dune London's stores varies, but the New York location is 2,000 sq. ft.
A Chicago-based breakfast and lunch concept, Yolk offers its customers not only omelets, but French toast, Belgian waffles, crepes, soups, salads, sandwiches and coffee, most of it for under $13. There are six locations currently in operation, including five in Chicago and one in Indianapolis. Next year, Yolk may double its fleet, opening from three to five new restaurants, primarily in the Midwest, according to Davis. The chain prefers street locations and spaces in lifestyle centers, with a footprint of approximately 5,500 sq. ft.
A burger concept launched by celebrated Cleveland-based chef Michael Symon, B Spot is in expansion mode. The chain’s offerings include such fare as burgers with chorizo sausage and salsa verde ($9.99) and beer brats with BBQ pulled pork ($7.99). Currently, B Spot operates seven locations in Cleveland, Columbus and Detroit, but it’s looking for new spaces throughout the Midwest, in the 4,500 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. range. The chain has the potential to open three to four new locations a year, according to Davis.
A California-based chain that caters to fashion-conscious and well-to-do juniors (an ironic t-shirt can cost up to $175), Kitson is looking to move east, and has been considering locations in New York and Chicago. The retailer takes locations ranging from 5,000 sq. ft. to 15,000 sq. ft. and has an opportunistic mindset, according to Davis.
Bonobos is one of those retailers that started as an e-commerce site and expanded into a bricks-and-mortar store. The menswear seller opened its first physical location in 2011, but it has since grown to 10 stores in major markets, including New York and Los Angeles, and has raised $55 million this year to quadruple the size of its store portfolio with 30 new stores over the course of the next three years. Among locations Bonobos is considering are additional stores in Manhattan and Long Island. Bonobos stores average about 1,500 sq. ft. in size. And the brand may be expanding its audience as well—this year, it opened the first location for its women’s spin-off, Ayr.
An upscale women’s shoes and accessories brand, Elaine Turner is looking to break out of the department store universe and into stand-alone stores. There are already eight stores operating, in New York, Texas and Tennessee, with two more scheduled to open this December. The retailer prefers stores of about 1,500 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. in lifestyle centers, with co-tenants including Anthropologie, J.Crew and Kendra Scott, according to CEO Jim Turner. “We find that our shoppers like to create an experience out of coming to our stores. They take the time to find what they really need and want to try things on, chait with our retail team…and have a glass of Prosecco while they shop.” Eventually, Elaine Turner would like to operate more than 135 stores nationwide.
An upscale movie theater chain coming from Venezuela, Silverspot already has one location open in Naples, Fla. Going forward, the chain plans on an aggressive U.S. expansion, according to John Bemis, executive vice president and retail market lead with real estate services firm JLL. Silverspot takes spaces ranging from 30,000 sq. ft.to 35,000 sq. ft. and “they are looking for higher-end type of audience,” says Bemis. “I think that they are going to be particular about what opportunities they can get versus geography—they want big plush chairs and very high-quality sound.”
The outdoor wear manufacturer may have been around since the early 1880s, but this year the company opened its very first retail store, in a 1,900-sq.-ft. space in New York City. Published reports indicate Woolrich executives would like to open additional locations in Boston, Chicago and Aspen, Colo. before year-end 2014, and eventually want to operate a fleet of at least 50 stores, in major cities and ski resort spots. Be aware, Woolrich clothes are not for the budget-conscious: a woman’s flannel shirt costs from $49 to $69, while a man’s down coat may go for as much as $500.
Another brand that has been around for some time, women’s apparel seller Lizard Thicket got its start in 1981, but it’s been stepping up its regional expansion recently, according to Bemis. Lizard Thicket currently has 10 locations, concentrated in Georgia, Tennessee and Arizona, but “I can see them opening eight to 10 stores a year for the next several years, possibly increasing that if they go public,” he says. Lizard Thicket’s core audience is women aged 18 to 35 looking for reasonably priced, somewhat bohemian styled clothes (think Urban Outfitters, but a few price points lower). The chain’s average store size is approximately 3,000 sq. ft.