With rents going up, an L Train shutdown imminent, and chains like Lululemon moving into the ‘burg, retailers are tasked with drumming up more business and loyal shoppers. Enter the first ever Williamsburg Shopping Weekend.
This Saturday and Sunday, dozens of retailers are uniting to show that Williamsburg still has cool, independent stores that are worth the trip. Created and organized by Stephanie McDermott, owner of The Vale Collective, the promotion will provide sweet deals, treats and swag bags to customers who are looking for something other than that Zara outfit that every other girl on the train is wearing. The weekend aims to be similar to Anna Wintour’s Fashion’s Night Out, but hopefully longer lasting.
McDermott’s boutique will serve as the starting point where customers can pick up a map of participating stores, including lesser known brands like Concrete + Water, La Di Da Dee and Antoinette.
“The area is changing at a massive rate,” McDermott explained, “but people’s attitudes towards spending are not evolving at the rate of the prices going up.” She went on to say, “We’re struggling with a really rapidly gentrifying area, but we don’t want to go crazy and up our prices.”
While chain stores are often blamed for rising rents in gentrifying neighborhoods, McDermott said she “didn’t want to be snobby about the bigger businesses.” Which is why you’ll see high-end chain stores like Ralph Lauren, Dr. Martens and Sandro participating this weekend. “Just as much as we have to work really hard to keep our customers happy and keep our prices reasonable, we know that business is equally difficult for someone with higher price points like Ralph Lauren.”
McDermott wants to team up with these high-end retailers to attract their loyal followers and keep them coming to Williamsburg where they’ll also explore smaller boutiques.
Tomorrow night after the participating stores close, customers are invited back to The Vale Collective to dance and have some drinks– they have a liquor license.
Since this Williamsburg Shopping Weekend has only been six months in the making, McDermott wants to gauge people’s interest in it before moving on to plan the next one, which she says might happen in December and will hopefully include bars and restaurants too.
Here’s a look at some of the deals on offer this weekend:
Participating stores include:
Antoinette: 20% off vintage + cocktails
Awoke Vintage: 20% off both stores
Babel Fair: 10% off full priced clothing
Baggu: 25% off sale items + 10% off regular priced items
Berlyn 65: 10% off towels
Brooklyn Fox Lingerie: 10% off whole store
Brooklyn Running Co: Special prize raffles throughout the weekend
By Robert James: 20% off full priced items
Concrete + Water: 15% extra off sale items
Dr. Martens: 30-40% off select styles + gift with purchase + refreshments
Fuego 718: 40% off whole store
In God We Trust: 10% off whole store
KCDC Skateshop: 20% off whole store + free KCDC tote with purchases over $100
La Di Da Dee: 20% off full price clothing
Le Grand Strip: 10% off (almost) whole store
LEIF Shop: Special prize raffle
Life:Curated: 20% extra off sale items
Madewell: Sips and sweets
Maje: Free gift with purchase + champagne
Monk Vintage: 15% off purchases over $40
Motif Lover: 20% off (almost) whole store
Narcisse: 10% off whole store
Phenix Consignment + Vintage: 15% off all store + treats
Pintrill: 15% off whole store
Quality Mending Brooklyn: 30% off whole store
Ralph Lauren: Cocktails
Sabon: Free gift with purchase + two special in-store experiences + special raffle
Sandro: Free gift with purchase + champagne
Scosha: 15% off all jewelry
Shag: 20% off plus a free gift
Sharktooth: 10% off whole store
Shoe Market: 10% extra off sale items
Space NK: 10% off whole store
Stone Flower: 20% off whole store
The Great Eros: 15% off whole store
The Vale Collective: 25% off whole store + cocktails + snacks + live music
Think Closet: 20% off new arrivals + 10% off sale items
Verameat: 30% off whole store