UNOde50 is making good on its post-bankruptcy promise to ramp up its retail presence.
On Monday, the Madrid-based jewelry retailer opened a flagship at 510 Broadway in New York's SoHo. This brings the store count in the U.S. to 28, several of which have opened since the company emerged from bankruptcy last month.
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Before the pandemic, the Madrid-based jewelry retailer had operated 105 stores globally, including 22 in the U.S. But many of those American stores were in undesirable locations and the company decided the best way to exit the unwanted leases was to file bankruptcy.
The Chapter 11 filing was for the U.S. business only and the company emerged on Dec. 7, 2021, said Jason McNary, chief executive officer of the Americas. With that behind it, UNOde50 is setting its sights on growth.
All told, the company closed 2021 with 130 stores around the world. In the U.S., new additions include units in Sawgrass in Sunrise, Fla.; NorthPark in Dallas, and Aventura, Fla., as well as a relocation of the store in the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. On Feb. 12, a store in the SouthPark mall in Charlotte, N.C., will open.
McNary said the plan this year is to continue to add stores in top malls around the U.S. such as the Galleria in Houston, the Prudential Center in Boston and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Although there is plenty of space available in malls around the country, McNary said that before signing any additional leases, UNOde50 wants to ensure it finds a location in a high-traffic spot in these centers where its stores will have strong and complementary co-tenants.
He said despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, he's "happy with business" in the U.S. which is benefiting from the company's omnichannel approach. He's anticipating an economic recovery this year with sales that will hit or exceed those of pre-pandemic levels. "We feel very strongly about our strategy and the early results of the newer stores are very strong."
One particular bright spot for the company is its art gallery concept that debuted in Madrid in February 2021 and is also featured in SoHo. The 1,625-square-foot SoHo store features 700 square feet devoted to the brand's jewelry assortment and more than 900 square feet to a gallery showcasing the artwork of its president and creative director, Jose Azulay.
In addition to the U.S., UNOde50 opened three stores in Puerto Rico and has signed a deal with TR3S to open five stores in the Dominican Republic within the next two years. It also inked a deal with Grupo Shogua to open stores in airport locations in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cancun.