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2011 July 18

Retailers to Watch: Joe Fresh's New York Takeover

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(NEW YORK) Those of you summering in the Hamptons might think, "Oh, Joe Fresh. It's that small storefront on Main Street in East Hampton with those cute, cheap cover-ups and flip-flops." Well, yes—for now. That's all about to change in October, when this Canadian behemoth is opening not one, but two mega-stores in Manhattan. The first location will bow on 43rd Street and 5th Avenue, with a lower Fifth Avenue outpost (at 16th Street, in the former Esprit space) to follow. Joe Fresh, you see, is  the latest retail venture from retail legend Joseph Mimran, whose myriad projects include Pink Tartan, which is designed by his wife Kim Newport-Mimran, and a little store you may have heard of—Club Monaco. The Toronto-based Mimran co-founded Club Monaco with Alfred Sung in 1984; it was acquired by Ralph Lauren in 1999. His latest venture, Joe Fresh, launched in Canada just 5 years ago, and the ultra-affordable collection of everything from apparel to footwear to accessories to even beauty is found in over 300 Canadian retailers, including shop-in-shops at many Real Canadian Superstore locations. As creative director, Mimran oversees all product development as well as the brand's push into the United States. "The Hamptons is really a testing ground for us," he said at the boutique's opening party on Saturday night.

Joe Fresh's primary virtue is its price point. Tank tops will run $8, while a white tennis skirt will set you back $29. An upbeat, clean aesthetic—and easy-to-navigate store experience—contribute to the highly edited feel. Mimran explained that the objective is not to offer every trend that's currently sweeping the marketplace—just those that will appeal to real customers. (Translation? Don't expect to see too many harem pants.) The focus is wearable basics that can be replaced with new colors, silhouettes, and treatments with each delivery. Expect to hear much, much more about Mimran's American expansion in the very new feature. In the meantime—you know where to get your new beach cover-ups.

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