Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The recession reaches Madison Avenue

Last Nov. 6, I did a post after walking on Madison Avenue in the 70s and 60s where all the really nice shops are.


And you know we didn't see one person shopping in any of these stores. Seriously. Post-election hangover perhaps? Or maybe the richies just don't shop in a light rain on weekday afternoons? Or maybe the economy is really fucked. Anyway, every store was the same: A handful of well-dressed employees standing around looking expectantly out the store windows.

So I wasn't surprised to read this in the Times today:

New York’s most elegant shopping corridor, the Gold Coast of Madison Avenue, from 57th Street to 72nd Street, is pockmarked with vacancies as retailers flee sky-high rents. More than two dozen retail spaces are on the market and are either empty now or about to be. Windows that once showcased hand-tooled leather suitcases are now plastered with for-rent signs.

This is as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” said Alan Victor, a broker who has worked the street for more than four decades and who is an executive vice president of the Lansco Corporation.

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