The Hamptons’ Retail Boom: Growing Pains

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Around this time of fall, Randy Neuringer would typically be in a ball gown in the social hustle and bustle of Manhattan as it heats up after Labor Day in early September. Labor Day is the deadline for made by fashion that calls for the ban of white from wardrobes and demands a rapid exodus from the Hamptons, New York’s summer playground for the rich.

However, these last two summer seasons have been different. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the usual schedule. New Yorkers migrated to the East End of Long Island at the start of the lockdown in March and April 2020, disrupting the rhythms of summer retailing and South Fork mansion rental deals on Long Island. Consumers have chosen to shelter out of town longer in more spacious locations, with many full-time Manhattan residents choosing to spend more time in greener pastures (including Neuringer, who was previously than in the Hamptons). “The volume of business that has resulted from the pandemic is remarkable,” said Neuringer, consultant.

Retailers have followed their customers to the Hamptons, creating a vibrant retail scene in East Hampton, Southampton and Amagansett. However, the large number of residents, which typically reach over 50,000 in the summer compared to around 3,000 in the off-season, has brought its own set of problems, including an acute labor shortage for retailers, due to the high cost. and the housing shortage. Even as offices begin to reopen and closures in and around New York City are lifted, the Hamptons boom is not over. According to a study by the New York City Partnership, employers said only 41% of employees would be back in the office by September 30. The majority of businesses (70%) are adopting a hybrid office schedule where employees can work remotely for part of the week, and some businesses do not require office time at all, so residents of the Hamptons do not need to work. not rush to Manhattan.

The real estate trade publication The Real Deal reports that approximately $ 8.1 billion in residential real estate has been sold in the Hamptons since the coronavirus lockdowns began. Much of this was taken over by New Yorkers buying enclaves to hide in during the pandemic.

Luxury brands quickly sensed an opportunity. In East Hampton alone, Balenciaga, Tod’s, Gucci and Manolo Blahnik were all new to town when they opened earlier this year, joining existing tenants such as Loro Piana, Zimmermann, Golden Goose and Ralph Lauren.

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