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Monday, April 25, 2016

Ups & Downs of New York Fashion Design Offices

Kmart Holding Corporation announced on April 27, 2004 the opening of the Kmart Design Group Office in New York. The office, located at 111 8th Avenue, is the first product design presence Kmart has held in New York and became the home to Lisa Schultz, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, and her team of designers.  In the fall of 2004, Kmart was to unveil its first collection that has been entirely refocused and redesigned in-house by the Kmart Design Group. With a focus on quality and style, the design team was to redefine Kmart's exclusive brands and offer customers an even wider range of products, all at a great value.

Note: The merger of Kmart and Sears as Sears Holdings Corporation closed on March 24, 2005.

In May 2006, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki joined Alwyn Lewis, president and C.E.O. of Sears Holding Corporation, in Hudson Square to cut the ribbon on 45,000 square feet of new design offices for Sears and Kmart apparel lines.  The company moved its existing design office from Chelsea with 80 employees to One Hudson Square at Canal and Varick streets., and planned to add 120 new jobs as a result of the move.

In an article about Sears store closures posted on April 21, 2016 it has been mentioned that Sears New York Design office may be closing.  The Sourcing Journal Online reported, “In addition to the store closures, a person familiar with the matter told Sourcing Journal that the company also plans to shut its New York design office in July as part of a strategy to reduce costs and consolidate the team in San Francisco, where its West Coast apparel office is located.”  Full article at: https://sourcingjournalonline.com/sears-confirms-more-store-closures/

We have not yet seen an official news report from Kmart Holding, but consolidating with the San Fran office may make good sense.

Find more clothing store news at the Fashion News Articles website (and obviously here on the Fashion Blog).

As a reminder, Walmart did not fair to well moving their design office to New York either.

Walmart New York Fashion Design Office

In July 2007, Walmart executive offices head to New York City.  On July 23, 2007 SL Green Realty Corp. announced that it had completed a 10-year lease agreement at 1372 Broadway in New York with the world’s second largest corporation, retailer, Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P. Wal-Mart, will occupy the entire second floor and second floor mezzanine, comprising a total of 46,103 square feet for executive offices.

In October 2011 it was reported that Walmart was closing its Midtown New York fashion office.  The apparel office, located at 1372 Broadway between 38th and 39th streets, housed about 275 employees.  After moving its apparel office to New York in 2009 with great fanfare about fashion,  Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  is packing up the operation and moving it back to its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, where it will double-down on basics.  Rather than go for trendy, Wal-Mart had been shifting its merchandising focus back to a basic assortment of socks, underwear, jeans, etc.

Note: Walmart still maintains a presence in New York.

Learn more about Walmart, Kmart, and Sears.

Thank you for taking the time to read our fashion retail blog post. We hope that you have found this news to be informative. If you have comments or questions, please add your thoughts in the discussion area below.

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