In 2008, Red Maps along with everyone else, got caught in the recession. It resulted in our having to wait a little longer than usual to produce the next editions of our guides. However, it did give us a unique view of New York City’s retail and restaurant scenes in the hottest neighborhoods, at the beginning of the downturn to the current period. We expected much more dramatic changes to our guides’ categories – that did not happen. In almost all cases, the number of entries in a category remained the same. We do note that rents probably decreased in the subject period, which may have aided retailers and restauranteurs to commit to some of these new openings.
Anecdotally, we would say that for as bad as the recession was, Manhattan’s hot neighborhoods faired pretty well. There were winners and losers in all categories, and some we’d just call a draw. This is the first of two articles focusing on the New York retail and restaurant scene. Part two highlights the neighborhoods of Chelsea, the Meatpacking District and the West Village.
The closings and virtually equal number of openings for fashion, shoe and accessory boutiques surprised us. Collectively, for these three categories, the Midtown Red Map tracks approximately 300 stores. While we counted a loss of 35 shops from our 2008 guide, we recorded an almost equal 34 openings in the same period. Among those new stores were Hermes Men and flagships for Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger & Juicy.
Jewelry was big on the Midtown map in 2008 and only got bigger over the past 20 months. On Madison Avenue we added another 15 shops to our list, many of whom sell at the very top of the category, e.g. Kwiat, Girard Perregaux and Mauboussin.
Dining out soon? While 21 establishments where you may have had fond memories are now closed, you’ll find there are 24 new places in this choice category to take their place.