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Tommy Bahama on How To Stand Out in NYC: Relax and Have a Drink!

A few weeks back, DKC announced that it has started working with clothing and lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama, which will be opening a Manhattan flagship store in the fall of 2012. We got our hands on a little more detail about the work, which will include media outreach to national, local, and trade media, and events marketing and promotions at big-buzz happenings like New York Fashion Week and the New York Food & Wine Festival.

Even with lots of outreach, the fact remains that opening a flagship store in New York City is a regular occurrence (Uniqlo just did it, as did Marimekko, and Joe Fresh, a Canadian brand, will soon be doing it). With that kind of environment, it’s hard to make a big splash. We spoke with Rob Goldberg, SVP of marketing at Tommy Bahama to learn more about how the brand plans to stand out on opening day. Turning away from the “bigger is bigger” point of view, the new shop will reflect the Tommy Bahama brand first and foremost. And they’ll have cocktails!

“We really feel like when we come to New York, we want to express the whole brand experience,” Goldberg told us.

The Tommy Bahama brand experience includes furniture, accessories, and restaurants; the New York flagship will have both a restaurant and a bar. Moreover, the Tommy Bahama ethos stresses all things stress-free. New Yorkers aren’t exactly known for being the most relaxed group of people.

“We own that kind of spring/summer time of year when people are thinking of resorts and getting away,” Goldberg said. “We found that people like dressing and eating that way even when they’re not away. People want to be relaxed all of the time.”

That laid-back vibe is going to be a focus — along with all the goods for sale — of the new shop.

Moreover, this store will be more modest than many of the other flagships in the city. “Ours is a flagship that’s a little bigger than what we normally do, but at the same time, we’re not talking about a five-story operation,” Goldberg added.

It’s going to be 13,000 square feet (the new Uniqlo is 89,000 square feet) and will split its attentions between the restaurant and retail side of things. And while it will have a sense of place — the company has brought in a New York architect to give it a location-specific vibe — it’s not going to veer too far away from its brand roots.

“We want to bring Tommy Bahama to New York, not necessarily New York to Tommy Bahama,” Goldberg said. “This is what Tommy Bahama is when he’s in New York. He’s taking a load off; he’s taking a break.”

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