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Luxury Becomes Multinational Arena

New York

There haven't always been many truly national luxury fashion chains, but thanks to the Internet, regional names began desiring national recognition, JLL luxury retail tenant specialist (and colleague photobomb victim) Michael Hirschfeld tells us. Now they want to be multinational. That's a large part of why the brokerage company Michael co-founded, Surge Retail, sold into JLL five months ago: His clients wanted overseas advice.


Can Manhattan luxury stores make money, or do they simply serve as marketing tools? Michael says some retailers can profit on Madison, where rents range from $900/SF to $1,500/SF. (Belstaff sells $4,000 leather coats, for instance, so that math works.) SoHo is a money maker; Meatpacking, though, isn't delivering returns. Early adopters like Stella McCartney got $50/SF there, but now rents are $300/SF, and she's retreated to SoHo. Downtown Manhattan is new to luxury, Michael says, but "has to be huge" by volume per SF, considering the workers, tourists, and commuters.