March 10, 2009

News flash: Store openings, for better or for worse

Hipster T-shirt juggernaut American Apparel opened 81 stores last year, bringing its total to more than 260 doors worldwide. It seemed to be on its way to becoming the Starbucks of cotton jersey, but instead, the company may be on its last leg(ging)s, reports WWD today. Founder Dov Charney has loaned AA $6.5 million out of his own pocket since December, not nearly enough to pay off a $51 million loan that comes due next month. 

This should come as no discouragement to Adidas, which launched its new concept, SLVR, with a freestanding store in New York last month, with more to come in Paris and around the world: Miami, Bangkok, Los Angeles... The eco-conscious, reasonably-priced, highly designed line is based on the Y-3 concept, but at a more recession-friendly price point, with ingenious designs like the one-piece Zero Waste T-shirt and the 7-piece sneaker that waste less material. Rave reviews in the New York Times and across the blogosphere have sent customers packing to the new shop, which opened Feb. 17.

Meanwhile, the latest word has it that Topshop is finally opening in New York April 2, dipping its toe into the waters across the pond, while the ladylike contemporary line Milly just opened its very first store in Tokyo.

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