Over the weekend, Crain’s New York published a story suggesting that all is not well on the Lower East Side when it comes to the viability of fashion-centric shopping destinations. The LES Business Improvement District is out with a response. Here it is:
The Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID) is extremely disappointed that Crain’s did not reach out to us for its story on the LES retail scene (“Lower East Side’s fashion faux pas,” June 20) to provide information for a more balanced and informed story.
Undoubtedly, some retailers in almost every New York City neighborhood are struggling; however, Crain’s focused on a single retailer that happened to be located on the Lower East Side, out of more than one thousand. Scores of LES businesses have survived the recession, and many retailers are flourishing, such as Any Old Iron, Kaight, James Coviello and By Robert James, just to name a few. Moreover, commercial vacancies in the neighborhood have dropped by 14 percent in the last year alone, pointing to the LES as a much sought after retail hub.
While it is well know that the LES is one of the most lively nightlife areas in the City, it also has a very eclectic daytime shopping district, which includes clothing boutiques, art galleries, and generations-old businesses. Additionally, the LES BID has numerous programs in place that support both daytime and nighttime foot traffic. We launched a new website that attracts nearly 10,000 unique visitors each month, significantly increased marketing efforts to produce more events and promotions for merchants, and will be releasing a groundbreaking new iPhone app to help both visitors and local residents explore the many great shopping opportunities on the LES. We are also heavily involved in long-term planning for the neighborhood, advocating for new commercial space along Delancey Street, the addition of 1,000 new housing units and the scheduled building of four new hotels with over 500 rooms – all of which will result in significantly more daytime foot traffic. Merchants have applauded our efforts, and visitors and residents alike are shopping at our businesses.
The Lower East Side is clearly an excellent place to do business with a thriving and vibrant shopping district and a diverse mix of retailers. We welcome New York’s great retailers to the LES to check out what we have to offer!