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Philly Retail

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Primark Grand Opening Event Today

TODAY: Thursday, September 16thinternational fashion retailer Primark will officially open its doors in the famed Fashion District Philadelphia, with some exciting opening activations. Customers will be delighted by personalized rides to the event, an all-day set by DJ Neek Nyce, creative swag designed by local Philadelphia artists, and a photobooth to document the day. President of Primark U.S., Andy Stewart will join the Primark team in celebrating the accomplishment of the highly anticipated store opening.

Tuesday night was the Preview Party Night, the Philly Chit Chat team was there including moi and photographer Andre Flewellen. These are Andre’s photos from the other night. I will post mine next week with interviews of folks on the scene. It was a fashionable soiree.

IRISH FASHION RETAILER PRIMARK OPENS AT FASHION DISTRICT PHILADELPHIA ON SEPTEMBER 16TH

The value shopping destination offering Amazing Fashion at Amazing Prices to customers will be Primark’s third store in Pennsylvania, boasting 34,200 sq. ft of retail space at the bustling corner of 11th and Market Street. The new store will also create over 350 new jobs, providing a significant boost to the local economy. Primark’s Fashion District location sits in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, in a complex that spans three city blocks across 900,000 square feet.

“We are delighted to welcome Philadelphians to our latest Northeast location in the US, where customers can shop the latest fashion trends, beauty and homeware, all with an amazing price tag” said Andy Stewart, President of Primark US. “Our Fashion District store will mark another important milestone in our ongoing expansion in the US and bringing our Amazing Fashion at Amazing Prices to more and more customers.”

I’ll be there at 11AM looking for your smiling face to photograph, especially as you leave the store with your savings. On opening day customers can look forward to exclusive swag, branded customer pedicabs and some more surprises to celebrate Primark’s arrival. See you then….

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1700 Block of Walnut Street Buildings Demolished

The 1700 block of Walnut Street May 2020

As we approach the 1 year anniversary of the country’s shutdown, and the opening of the country, I noticed businesses, the City and people are planning to move forward as soon as it’s safely possible. I took a walk around town earlier this week and noticed so much life, actively and a sense of relief that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Google Screen Shot of the buildings that housed McDonald’s, Vans/Ferbers and Doc Martens

On May 30 these historic designated buildings at 1706, 1708 and 1710 Walnut Street were destroyed by arsonists.

The fire burned through the night into the next day, gutting the McDonald’s Vans/Ferbers and Doc Martens, where the fire originated.
Stopping short of decimating the Wells Fargo on the first floor and CODA night club on the 2nd floor.

Last summer I wrote about hearing a rumor where these three buildings, and maybe the Wells Fargo building at 1712 would be razed (it was not). Then these dumpsters showed up in the fall and it seemed imminent. Yesterday I walked by and saw that indeed the buildings were razed, everything but the first floor facades, which makes me so happy they saved these historic details of the federal style buildings, which were built in the 1800s.

UPDATE: Howard B Haas: At 4 PM yesterday, the facades were gone from the 2 western buildings, rubble. I expect the McDonalds facade will be gone today.

The lots are owned by three different people. I wonder if they’ll get together and build a high rise, or rebuild a low rise as it was previously.

Looking forward … (After writing this while looking up the history of the properties I found this
great article by Inga Saffron, Philly Inquirer you should read as well.)

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Walnut Street: Ulta Beauty Closes, Madewell, Warby Parker and others Re-Open,

Monday I woke up late, as usual in my new normal, but instead of hanging out on the computer I decided to go for a walk. It was one of those walks I take through Center City to see how the City is re opening as well which business have closed during the pandemic. I’m happy to report that folks have returned to the streets to shop, to see friends, to exercise.

I’m happy to report that in my latest walk around the City, more than half, no almost 2/3rds of the folks I saw out and out were wearing masks!! Definitely much more than I had seen earlier in the summer. Good job!! And it’s amazing how much the street changes from day to day with openings, and closings. Which is where we will start.
I don’t like to start off with a business who has closed because of the pandemic, but I began my walk up Walnut from Midtown Village. I reported that Hats in the Belfry closed on Chestnut Street a few weeks ago, so I was curious about Goorin Bros. Sadly they’re permanently closed as well. A Covid casualty. But across the street Williams Sonoma was open.
The Verizon Store always has a line with helpful clerks in the que. Across the Street AT&T, and TMobile are open as well.

Welcome Back Ubiq (I can’t wait for the next limited edition sneaker) and Warby Parker, both now open.

To get into the Apple Store (1607 Walnut St) you’ll need an appointment as well as to shop at the new store on Rittenhouse Row, Interior Define. (Formerly Thomas Moser furnishing. Remember when I got the tip they closed last year, and then they wrote me to tell me they weren’t closed, and then they closed a few days later. Annoying.) It was just the wrong fit for Walnut St. We have a CB2, which is also open by appointment. Pandora Jewelry store is also re opened.
As of last week Madewell (1716 Walnut St) was still closed (I called their headquarters in July, and they couldn’t tell me of the status whether it would open or not.), and I noticed Indochino had moved from Chestnut St to Walnut St and is now located where Intermix was. Intermix closed before the Pandemic. (Note that Madewell’s boards are painted black, you can thank Center City District for painting the stores who are still closed and boarded.)

BUT Yesterday I was like an excited kid when I saw that it was finally re opened!! It’s perfect to have Madewell (women’s wear) and Indochino (menswear) next to each other.

Across the street Loft is open, but H&M is still closed. Every day I walk by the doors are exposed like this, but the sign on the door still says closed, and when I peer in the store is restocked, but with summer clothing. We’re now headed into fall. Note H&M’s boards are not painted. Very annoying too.
One store I heard several rumors about closing was Ulta Beauty on Walnut Street. It was one of the last stores on Walnut Street to remove their boards (which had been painted black as well). I noticed over the past few weeks they removed their promo posters and replaced them with a signs that say “We’re Closed”, and are directing people to the Fashion District as well as a store on Delaware Ave. I wrote 8/19 I had a feeling this was going to close.
Monday I walked by and noticed the letters above the door have been removed.

I wish I had a better photo, I should have crossed the street. As you can see on the left photo, which I took last Thursday, the sign is still up and projects from the wall. The photo on the right has the letters removed. Signs directing customers to the other locations are in the window. I don’t think Ulta Beauty closed because of the pandemic, it was always rumored they would move once the Fashion District opened, but that’s just my gut feeling, as is most of my reporting. See you on Social Media. Remember your umbrella today.

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Authentick Opens in Rittenhouse Square

The owners of East Coast Time / Authentick celebrated the opening of their new store/showroom in Rittenhouse Square with a party for friends, family and clients last month, and Mike Hirata, of Philly Chit Chat was there to capture it.

Alan Havkin with his son Authentick Co-Owner Eric Havkin.

From there website: For over 25 years, AUTHENTICK and East Coast Time have been proudly serving the luxury watch and timepiece community. Our store, showroom, and service facility are located in Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia. We take great pride in providing first class service to our clients and collectors all over the world buying, selling, and trading high end watches. We specialize in new and pre-owned watches from exclusive prestige brands including A. Lange & Sohne, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Cartier, F.P. Journe, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Officine Panerai, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Rolex, Ulysses Nardin, and more.

Authentick sources their inventory from independent distributors and suppliers who they trust and have worked closely with for many years.

East Coast Time / Authentick
1737 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 355-3585info@authentick.com