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NEW YORK CITY-Manhattan will be the first market tapped for the 2004 rollout of ESPRIT apparel and accessories stores. The company expects to open six or seven 4,500 to 5,000 sf stores in the New York Tri-state area as the beginning of its national campaign to relaunch the brand in the US. Madison HGCD, will serve as the exclusive broker and real estate consultant for the retailer.

ESPRIT has operations on several continents and is active in Europe and the Far East with its only North American stores located in Canada. The company maintains an active wholesaling business, selling through Macy’s and other department stores. Those arrangements will not be affected by the opening of retail stores.

ESPRIT plans to open two stores in Manhattan, three in the New York Metropolitan area–potential locations in New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut will be scouted–a lifestyle/village store and an outlet center.

“ESPRIT is a nearly $2 billion dollar brand internationally and its name recognition is high in the US already,” says Richard B. Hodos, president of Madison HGCD. “The New York metro region, with its diversity and appreciation for fashionable yet accessible brands, is the ideal place for the company’s re-launch. ESPRIT will begin its rollout carefully. Its stores will be hip, attractive and youthful, just the thing for mall developers who are looking for something fresh and exciting to bring customers back to shop for apparel.”

ESPRIT offers three fashion lines including women’s collection, women’s casual and edc by esprit in department stores. edc by esprit will continue to be sold in juniors sections, while the women’s lines are now being positioned in better sportswear departments to accommodate the original ESPRIT woman from the 70s and 80s.

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