Topshop and its over-the-top rock ’n’ roll merchandising have finally arrived in SoHo.
The London-based retailer’s flagship, at 478 Broadway near Broome Street in Manhattan, opens Thursday and, after numerous construction delays, has been filled to the hilt with sexy sequined dresses, feathered trophy jackets, cheeky studded platforms, skinny fits, geeky eyeglasses and barely legal studded denim short shorts.
It’s the chain’s first store in the U.S., and among the most anticipated retail openings in years. SoHo hasn’t seen such a retail phenom since Bloomingdale’s opened its annex for contemporary fashion in 2004.
“This is genuinely the best store we have ever built,” said Sir Philip Green, the flamboyant owner of Arcadia Group, parent company of Topshop and its men’s sibling Topman, during a preview of the site Monday morning. “We see this as a launchpad for a business in America.”
Asked if he is close to announcing a second U.S. site, Green replied, “There is nothing cooking as we speak, but who knows? By Friday, there might be.”
Topshop is milking the opening, staging a barrage of parties and dinners for media and socialites this week in advance of the debut, and then a high-octane ribbon cutting with Kate Moss on Thursday. Moss has been doing an exclusive collection for Topshop since 2006 and launches her spring line in tandem with the SoHo opening.
In addition, a Topshop van has been driving around New York handing out goody bags and gift cards worth $5 to $500.
Mirroring the Oxford Circus flagship in London, the four-level, 40,000-square-foot space, with 28,000 square feet for selling, is an eyeful of energetic, packed merchandising with about 2,000 stockkeeping units, a broad price range from moderate to bridge, and dozens of mannequins and forms, either dangling from the high, 30-foot ceilings or sitting atop the alcoves. It’s a wide store with columns and escalators, huge colorful illustrations of London icons, and theatrically lit Topshop marquees. Above all, it’s the product, and not so much the architecture or decor, that does the talking.