Why retailers are fleeing Fifth Avenue | CNN

Midtown Manhattan has been one of the most coveted spots in the world for fashion houses. Now, it’s emptying out.

Calvin Klein announced Thursday that it would close its Madison Avenue store in the spring. It joins an exodus that includes Ralph Lauren (RL), Lord & Taylor and Henri Bendel. Gap (GPS) also said over the holidays that it was on its way out, and Versace is reportedly looking to leave Fifth Avenue, too.

The departures show how the role of the flagship fashion store has changed. In many cases, high rent in Midtown Manhattan has made a physical store there untenable. And changes in consumer behavior have forced many of these brands to rethink their strategies.

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