SoHo District

Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

Gap is dropping its small Piperlime online brand so the apparel maker and retailer can focus on fixing the problems bedeviling its much bigger namesake and Banana Republic brands. Piperlime, which Gap founded in 2006 as a rival to's, sold shoes, clothing and accessories via e-commerce and through a store in New York's SoHo district. But it never caught on with a wide audience beyond its core, dedicated customers, and its revenues never topped $100 million, a drop in the bucket for a company with annual sales exceeding $16 billion.

In 2010, Neil Blumenthal and three friends launched Warby Parker, which stated by selling eyeglasses online and, unlike most web retailers, is now moving into brick-and-mortar stores. The company offers its own line of vintage-inspired frames that sell for just $95 a pair, including prescription lenses, in contrast to designer glasses that can go for more than $700. Blumenthal, 32, won't reveal revenues and says that while the company has been in the black, right now it is

Consumers and marketers alike have come to expect the deep discounts, "one of a kind" promotions and "special deals" retailers offer to lure in every last disposable dollar. Among the wide array of wily marketing initiatives delivering high perceived value, perhaps one type offers a bit more real value than the rest: the pop-up retail experience.

Victorinox Swiss Army announced it will open five stores in 2011, the first of which opened July 1 in The Westchester in White Plains, NY. According to Joachim Beer, president of global fashion and retail for the chain, future store openings include Boston, Short Hills, N.J. and Los Angeles, all slated to open prior to year end. “We look forward to bringing the brand to these locations with this innovative new design concept,” said Beer.

Ash, one of the fastest-growing contemporary shoe and accessories brands, has made its way to America. The first U.S. Ash store location opened in New York City's SoHo district at 44 Mercer Street.

Ali Wing has a lot to smile about. giggle, was founded in 2003 with a website and concept store in the city's SoHo district. Since then, the founder and CEO of this cross-channel retailer of baby products, gifts and informational resources for new parents has seen it grow to include 11 brick-and-mortar stores throughout the U.S., a sophisticated transactional website, a series of print catalogs and a growing line of baby products called giggle Better Basics

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