Thursday, April 2, 2009

Madewell cashes in on Topshop's U.S. arrival

Britain’s fast-fashion leader Topshop opened its first-ever U.S. location, in downtown Manhattan (at Broadway and Broome Street in SoHo). And judging by the crowd that gathered outside the 40,000-sq.-ft., four-level location this morning, you would think the Queen herself was in town.

The scene was chaotic, with a line a few blocks deep to enter the location. But leave it to J. Crew Group CEO Mickey Drexler to cash in on the commotion: Topshop's next door neighbor, Madewell, was handing out free coffee and donuts to those who waited in line at Topshop. And for those who went into the Madewell store with coffee in-hand were awarded a free boyfriend t-shirt.

The Madewell window display was hardly subtle too. With a British flag showcased in the background, the window said the following message: "A royal welcome to our new neighbour."

Madewell knew exactly what it was doing, and so did everyone else in line. But as shoppers anxiously waited to enter Topshop, they couldn't have been more happy with their free snacks and shirts.

I would tell you what the store was like, but it was so crowded that this reporter couldn't even get in.

For more on Topshop's first U.S. location, check out Chain Store Age's exclusive article here.

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