If you’re looking for another beautiful summer full of endless days at the beach, glamorous parties, and expensive cars, go to the Hamptons. But, if you’re looking for a good dose of retail therapy, go somewhere else, because East Hampton is looking rather desolate these days.
The summer capital of the rich and famous is going through a hiccup of cash deprivation as a lot of its stores, including iconic Italian brand Gucci, Brooks Brothers, Cole Haan, and Calypso Home are leaving the expensive streets of the “it” city before the proliferate summer season.
Sky-high rents are preventing high-end stores from keeping their business afloat and are instead sinking in the economic pool without being able to bounce back for another round summer sales.
Some landlords are reportedly asking for up to $200 a square foot, which if you do the math, can add up to more than $200,000 a year.
Local brokers are claiming that luxury retailers, such as the ones named above, rarely turn a profit. In fact, because of the economic situation, nearly 30 shuttered storefronts now decorate the now almost-empty stretch of the luxurious streets.
Iconic businesses like Hamptons Cards and Gifts have completely vanished, while stores like Ralph Lauren now occupy an entire block with three of their famous stores.
Frustrated local business owners, year-round residents, and seasonal shoppers say that they’ve had more than enough of the high-end corporate incursion.
But with an economic crisis such as this one, there’s not much that can be done. Let’s hope that the sky-high rents go down and that business goes up again. Without the luxury stores, East Hampton just isn’t the same.