In a legal complaint filed with a New York court, luxury fashion brand Valentino SpA is requesting that the courts end its lease for a store in a prime tourist spot in Manhattan. The location is in a highly desirable stretch of Fifth Avenue that goes from Central Park to East 49th Street that has had some of the costliest rents globally, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The advent of online shopping for high-end items, however, has made it more difficult for fashion houses as well as other merchants to support expensive rents at a times when sales have dropped at the Fifth Avenue spot for a number of luxury fashion labels. And that part of Fifth Avenue reportedly had low foot traffic on a recent day during the week.
Merchants, with the inclusion of Valentino, had blocked off their retail locations with wood to stop looters from compromising their retail locations as well as their stock of items in early June. The brand, however, has removed the wood that has been guarding the outside of its store and has had curbside pickup available for products like T-shirts and purses.
Valentino began its lease in the summer of 2013, and it concludes in 2029, for three floors as well as a basement. In court papers, the brand said its “business at the premises has been substantially hindered and rendered impractical, unfeasible and no longer workable” due to the “current social and economic climate.”
The news comes as only 36.1 percent of U.S. consumers are starting to become interested in leaving their residences and going back to their pre-pandemic routines. But 63.9 percent of consumers are still choosing to remain inside, opting to work and shop through eCommerce for fear of risking contagion.
As it stands, 33.8 percent of consumers would choose merchants for their digital features, while 67.4 percent of consumers want merchants to provide order for delivery options.