Then I heard the news that this would be a Brooks “boutique” – and naturally my heart went a-flutter. Would they offer vintage Brooks looks? Would they have a selection of the Thom Browne Black Fleece collection? Were they taking a page from J. Crew’s successful “liquor store” in Tribeca, offering a specially curated collection only available at that location?
Needless to say my expectations were running at fever-pitch. I don’t get this worked up unless the Crate and Barrel AND Pottery Barn catalogs arrive on the same day.
So I headed south down Sixth, and noticed the nice store front. “Yes, yes, go on,” my mind thought, “this looks promising!” I opened the doors, and…
…found a “boutique” with all the charm of an airport duty-free shop.
It was like any old Brooks Brothers shop, only smaller. Same shirts, just fewer. Same ties, just fewer. Same clerks, just standing around (it wasn’t very busy.)
Now I suppose in the end this was a business decision – keep the Brooks flagship on
That aside, I’m more disappointed in the wasted opportunity here. J. Crew has done some really creative work in extending and revitalizing their brand as evidenced in their smaller boutique stores in
Brooks could have done the same thing – perhaps using a better thought-out “boutique” as a means to answer the critics who note the store has gone hill ever since its ill-fated acquisition by Marks & Spencer.
Bottom line: disappointing. At least there’s still J. Press…
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