After more than 30 years on Madison Avenue, the retailer E. Braun & Company is packing up its $3,500 hand-embroidered tablecloths and $2,390 bedding sets and will defect in April for cheaper space on Park Avenue.And it is not alone. New York’s most elegant shopping corridor, the Gold Coast of Madison Avenue, from 57th Street to 72nd Street, is pockmarked with vacancies as retailers flee sky-high rents. More than two dozen retail spaces are on the market and are either empty now or about to be. Windows that once showcased hand-tooled leather suitcases are now plastered with for-rent signs.“This is as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” said Alan Victor, a broker who has worked the street for more than four decades and who is an executive vice president of the Lansco Corporation.
By Terry Pristin, Feb. 4, 2009, NYT

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