Clothing Retailer Uniqlo Opens Shop At Union Square Stop

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pop-up stores are pulling into New York’s subway stations.

The MTA is giving retailers short-term leases to operate in small vacant spaces in the subway system while the agency looks for long-term tenants. The MTA tested the concept in July by allowing The Newstand, an indy-oriented media seller, to open at the Lorimer Street/Metropolitan Avenue stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On Thursday, Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo launched a pop-up store at the Union Square station.

“At UNIQLO, our goal is to bring new and exciting shopping experiences to our customers, and we want to provide New Yorkers with the opportunity to shop for cold weather clothing in the subway before they have to head out into the winter weather,” Larry Meyer, Uniqlo USA’s chief operating officer, said in a news release. “This shop fits perfectly with our strong belief in the fundamental power of clothing to improve people’s lives, and trust that it will provide people with comfort and warmth during the winter season.”

The pop-up stores will give companies — from small entrepreneurs to established corporations — the opportunity to rent highly visible spaces. The MTA said in some instances displaying the merchandise could be just as much of a goal as making an on-site transaction — and some shoppers might be encouraged to make their purchase online or at larger off-site stores.

“The younger generations are gravitating to the subway system as never before,” said MTA Real Estate Director Jeffrey Rosen. “They are savvy about shopping online. Retailers want to reach them where they are, which is our subway system. We are glad to be able to offer space in our stations to facilitate this new business niche.”

Added MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast: “Pop-up stores will provide a fresh and beneficial element to our stations while also improving the image and desirability of retail space in the subway. This is another example of the MTA working to make better use of its real estate portfolio and improving the subway environment for customers at the same time.”

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