Manhattan's Luxury of Accessibility


Ease. Convenience. Luxury.

Over the past year these three descriptors have defined innovations in technology, lifestyle, and real estate. It seems as if the focus will be in the same direction for the coming year, specifically within the retail and restaurant industries.

Collaboration between retailers and their restaurant counterparts is not foreign to the major players in New York City shopping. Fred's at Barneys, David Burke at Bloomingdale's, and Café SFA at Saks Fifth Avenue have all become Manhattan staples. With these department stores bringing multitudes of designers and departments under one roof, causing the time spent in one store to extend throughout a whole day, it is only fitting to have a relaxing dining option.

Most recently, individual stores have branched into dining as well. Giorigio Armani's Fifth Avenue flagship houses the Armani Ristorante; Space Ninety 8 in Williamsburg is the Urban Outfitters concept store, which includes The Gorbals restaurant and bar; and Ralph Lauren's Fifth Avenue flagship will soon house the Polo Bar.

A major motivating factor of this trending collaboration is to encourage traditional shopping. "The retail equation has changed, and it has forced retailers to think differently," Laurence Kretchmer, chef Bobby Flay's business partner, told The New York Times. "People have to be given more reasons to go to stores now. People shop in their underwear now." Today, providing comfort and ease for customers drives so many business decisions, as accessibility is the key to success with today's mindset.

In today's real-estate market, accessibility is synonymous with luxury. Developers of residential new developments focus on amenities within a building, understanding the desires of buyers to have all necessities under the roof under which they live. Similar to the retail trend, some buildings even house restaurants on the ground level and provide in-room catering to residents.

With ease and luxury on New York's mind, the next year's innovations will be sure to keep up with the trend.

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