Is the New York Fashion District nearing its final days?
The New York Fashion District, also known as the New York Garment District, is in Manhattan, located approximately between 35th and 39th st, from 6th to 9th Avenue.
Back in the day, there was an entire garment manufacturing industry located in the area that is known as the New York Fashion District.
Clothing manufacturers started by moving their operations to Mexico, to factories known as maquiladoras, and then to factories in China.
While there is still manufacturing taking place in the District, it mostly consists of either very high end clothes manufacturers, or alteration shops.
Presently, the majority of the clothing businesses that you will find in the NY Garment District consist of dress showrooms. There are showrooms that sell the dresses of various designers, or designer run showrooms.
You can also find a few jobbers. Jobbers are people that buy and sell closeout merchandise, and due to the nature of their businesses, they will always have different merchandise to sell.
In addition to jobbers and dress showrooms, you can also find corporate showrooms that belong to companies such as Calvin Klein, Eli Tahari, Nine West, and others.
Although there is still plenty of business that takes place in the District, it has substantially slowed down as compared to prior years.
Business has slowed down dramatically due to various reasons, including the high commercial rents, the reduction of visas to foreign business owners, and the trend of buyers shopping online for wholesale merchandise.
Over the last two years, rents for many commercial spaces have increased from $5,000-$7,500 to $15,000-$25,000 per month!
Can you imagine the quantity of clothes that a showroom needs to sell just to cover the rent?
There are wholesalers who are located in the NYC Garment District who own their properties. These wholesalers have less pressure than their competitors who rent spaces.
The United States has also become very strict in regards to issuing visas to those that want to travel to the U.S.
Many retailers have become used to visiting wholesale websites and buying merchandise for their stores.
While these factors can easily change, as of now, it seems that the heyday of the NY Garment District will not be returning any time soon.
There is some hope, since New York City has recently implemented programs to maintain the unique character of the NYC Fashion industry.