While the brick-and-mortar retail scene last year was virtually nonexistent for a while due to state mandates to shutter storefronts, White Plains’ shopping giant, The Westchester, is betting big on the return of the in-person shopping experience, with the addition of several fresh, new shops this year, with more to come. The revamping of the center’s dining area in 2019 featured the inclusion of trendy and NYC-based chains, and now the retail scene is following suit.
New on the block is popular NYC-based eyeglass company Warby Parker, which opened its first county location at The Westchester in May on the third floor, near Nordstrom. The Greenwich outpost was previously the sole destination for FairWest clientele who didn’t want to head into Manhattan for the brand’s affordable, funky specs and now new line of contacts. The new White Plains location offers eye exams and a full range of optical and sun eyewear.
PlayHardLookDope, a lifestyle jewelry brand, opened its first and only brick-and-mortar location, in the center of the third floor, in February. Founders Jon Nelsen and Ebony Mackey created the brand to help shoppers accessorize with high-quality, statement-making pieces. The focus is on authentic, gemstone jewelry, and the brand offers both men’s and women’s collections.
Adjacent to Gucci on the second floor now is heritage jewelry brand Judith Ripka. It has been more than 10 years since the brand opened a storefront. This new store at The Westchester is the first in a plan to grow the brand in the coming years; the White Plains boutique is currently the brand’s only store in the nation. Debuting in the county was by design: Judith Ripka already had ties to the area, and the brand wanted to expand here due to Westchester’s “elevated community, which has a keen interest in art and luxury items,” according to a brand statement. Fine jewelry, luxurious gift items, and modern art are available for purchase at this store.
For contemporary and sexy apparel in sizes that range from XS to 4XL, My Sheek Wardrobe opened in April, on the third floor. Dresses, tops and bottoms, swimwear, outerwear, and accessories are on offer.
“There is something for everyone at The Westchester, as it offers a mix of retailers that differentiate themselves from other shopping centers,” says the director of marketing for The Westchester, Paula Kelliher. “It features luxe brands, such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, as well as [moderately] priced retailers,” like many of those newly debuted.
“The Westchester continues to elevate the consumer experience while attracting the next generation of shoppers by offering contemporary brands on the property,” says Kelliher. New housing developments emerging in White Plains are “very attractive to new businesses whereby customers can comfortably walk to the property from their homes,” says Kelliher.
On the horizon are Canadian outerwear brand Moose Knuckles, Forever 21, Levi’s, and Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, set to open in the fall.