I’m so confused. I went to a number of events during Fashion’s Night Out, including ones at Barneys New York, Prada, Norma Kamali, Bergdorf Goodman, and a a slew of boutiques on both Madison and Fifth Avenues. I saw no one shopping. I saw no one browsing the clothes. All I saw was utter madness. It was unbelievably chaotic – especially in the big department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue – and the smaller boutiques that didn’t have as much hype around celebrity appearances or free liquor were empty. In the week following the event (which took place on a global scale), word was that retailers didn’t benefit from the night financially – in fact, it cost many stores more than they made back in return (notably Barneys New York, according to Simon Doonan).
Of course, any financial loss was covered-up and excused based on the night boosting morale, and apparently that’s enough to warrant a repeat. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NYC & Co. announced via a press release that the event will return on September 9th, 2010 and will be bigger and better than the first. The release goes on to remark that the parties involved in the shopping event were “absolutely bowled over by the response […] It was only fifteen minutes after the event began, and we were getting reports about lines around the block at stores throughout the city. It was wonderful to see people embrace this initiative, and we are thrilled that they wish it to return.”
While clearly foot traffic into stores got a boost – and surely will the next time around – it remains to be seen whether that will translate into dollar signs comes 2010.