NEW YORK CITY-Daffyâ€™s Inc., the Seacucus, NJ-based retail chain known for discount designer clothes, will be closing its doors over the next several months. The company â€“ which operates 11 stores within the five boroughs â€“ is liquidating after several quarters of financial difficulties and weakening store performance.
In a statement e-mailed to GlobeSt.com, the company says it â€œdeeply regrets that this action was necessary due to the impact on its business of the uncertain economy and weak consumer spending, and a lack of viable financial and business alternatives.â€
In total, Daffyâ€™s has 19 locations across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and approximately 1,300 employees. According to a company statement, all associates will remain employed and receive pay and benefits for at least 60 days.
The impact of the closures on the New York City retail market is uncertain, but the chain has a significant presence in the boroughs, leaving behind several large blocks of space. Daffyâ€™s recently opened a massive 17,000-square-foot store at 218 W. 44thÂ St. in Times Square at rents near $1,400 a square foot, and also has locations at 1311 Broadway in Herald Square; 3 E. 18thÂ St. in Midtown South; 335 Madison Ave. in the Grand Central submarket; 125 E. 57thÂ St. in Midtown East.; 1775 Broadway in Midtown West; 462 Broadway in SoHo, 50 Broadway in the Financial District; Atlantic Terminal in Downtown Brooklyn; and 88-01 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, Queens.
Gene Spiegelman, executive vice president atÂ Cushman & Wakefield, tells GlobeSt.com that the Daffyâ€™s store closures will provide landlords with the opportunity to recapture ground floor space and reposition the real estate at a higher value. â€œThey are located in really excellent located positions, and they are actually going to free up some spaces that will help landlords reposition some buildings,â€ he says, noting that the ground floor space at 125 E. 57thÂ St. is already available, and now with Daffyâ€™s coming on-line, the landlord will be able to reposition all levels of the building, from ground, basement and mezzanine. â€œItâ€™s something that the landlord always had a desire to do. Daffyâ€™s exercised an option in that building some years ago, so I think thatâ€™s going to bring the opportunity to really reposition that whole corner.â€
And like the 57thÂ Street space, Spiegelman adds that the Daffyâ€™s locations coming on the market at 335 Madison Ave. in Midtown East and 3 E. 18th St. in the Flatiron District would be highly sought after as well. â€œIf you look around Midtown, how many blocks of space of that size are available? The answer is very few, so it just offers another opportunity for other retailers to step in and for the landlord to reconfigure the space,â€ he says.
The first Daffyâ€™s store â€“ once called "Daffy Danâ€™s Bargain Town" â€“ opened in 1961 in Elizabeth, NJ by retailer Irving Shulman. From there, the family-run business expanded beyond New Jersey into new markets, butÂ reports showÂ that the company had recently failed to pay its vendors.