SoHo Reels Economically As Shoppers Vanish in the Pandemic
The The New York Times zooms in on NYC’s SoHo (home to Adafruit HQ) and details the economic devastation that the pandemic has unleashed here over the last 19 months. We’re feeling very lucky to still be here.
“The pandemic has affected us in a bad way,” said Connie Gharibian, the finance director at Hudson Furniture, a high-end furniture designer that decided not to renew the lease on its Wooster Street showroom after people started staying home in March 2020. “The traffic there was just not enough to keep us going.”
Just a few years ago, SoHo was one of the world’s hottest retail districts, packed with luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren that paid some of the highest rents in the country. Shoppers spent $3.1 billion in SoHo and neighboring NoHo in 2016, according to a report by HR & A Advisors, second only to Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in total retail revenue.
Tourists swarmed Broadway’s overflowing sidewalks and bobbed in and out of stores like Dean & Deluca, Nike and Uniqlo. Social media influencers clogged narrow side streets, snapping pictures for posting on Instagram. Shoppers lined up outside stores early on Fridays, eager to buy items on sale.
Almost overnight, the shoppers, notably those from overseas, evaporated, proving how heavily the stores relied on them.
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