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Building Brooklyn Retail with Our First Store in Williamsburg

February 24, 2022
Building Brooklyn Retail with Our First Store in Williamsburg

New York is the number one market for the majority of brands on our Platform, as well as those looking to launch their first store with Leap. However, when you start to separate out the different neighborhoods and shopping centers within NYC, you see just how much these individual corridors resonate with shoppers. For example, when we separate out Brooklyn zip codes as part of our data-driven process for site selection, it often ranks in the top three in the country for their next location for a new storefront.

To that end, we just launched our first Leap-powered location in Brooklyn, representing a huge opportunity for our Platform as we continue to expand within the large and dynamic New York retail market. UpWest Williamsburg at 107 N 3rd Street is a landmark expansion for our Platform—our 18th store in New York, and our first (but far from last) in a borough outside of Manhattan. This is also our third location with UpWest and their first in NY, joining UpWest Lincoln Park and UpWest Oakbrook in Chicago.

UpWest Williamsburg, powered by Leap.

Williamsburg is a natural next step for UpWest and for our Platform. With a focus on comfort, sustainability, and local community, they’re a perfect fit for downtown Williamsburg clientele. It’s already home to dozens of incredible retailers, with large national retailers like Madewell, Parachute, and Buck Mason sitting alongside smaller or artisanal brands like Catbird, Brooklyn Tailors, and Chickee’s Vintage. Let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons why Brooklyn is an incredible destination for retail in general, and for Leap-powered brands in particular.

UpWest Williamsburg, powered by Leap.

A Vibrant Local Culture: Retail is only a part of a much bigger landscape across the borough—with world class restaurants, coffeeshops, and bars, brand new hotels, tourist magnets like the Brooklyn Brewery, and some of the most desirable new apartments in the entire NY market. With this incredible mix of amenities suitable for a range of lifestyles, it’s no wonder it’s no wonder that Brooklyn is a top market for so many of our brands.

Easy Access: Brooklyn is a great entry point into the NY market. For one, it already has a dense local population of New Yorkers who live and work in its neighborhoods. It doesn’t hurt that rents are also often more accessible in Brooklyn than Manhattan (but not always!). Neighborhoods like Williamsburg are also highly accessible by public transit, making them just as much a destination for weekend shopping as Fifth Avenue and SoHo. This all makes Brooklyn a great place to launch your first NY storefront and build a presence within the market without the pressure or cost of opening your first store in Manhattan.

The Cool Factor: Brooklyn remains an excellent spot for brand-building, and has a unique local character and appeal that many brands have sought to capitalize on with retail locations. That’s why you can find fashionable, “if you know you know” brands like Diptyque, D.S. & DURGA, and The Sill alongside modern favorites like Away and Suitsupply, as well as more legacy brands like J. Crew, Apple, and Birkenstock. Also, unlike many major shopping districts in Manhattan, many locals both live and shop nearby, giving even bustling neighborhoods more of a community feel and helping build stronger loyalty and deeper connections with these local brands.

Williamsburg is the major focus for our upcoming Leap-powered locations in the borough, but it’s not the only neighborhood we’re prioritizing. Brooklyn Heights, Bedford, and Prospect Park are all top candidates for new storefronts as we continue to expand within the city itself and the greater NY and tri-state market.

Interested in opening your next store in Brooklyn? Reach out to us here. 

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