Retailing in the New York City subway system hasn’t evolved much past the occasional newsstand. Considering around 5 million people ride the subway each day, it is surprising that retail development in the subway hasn’t been more aggressively pursued. Underneath the 42nd Street and 8th Avenue station, storefronts have existed for years. The current mix of retailers in that station aren’t what you would classify as cutting edge. That is until you get to Grast, a new t-shirt and accessories boutique. Opening this past Monday, Grast stocks an exclusive line of New York City themed t-shirts with graphics designed by artists and graffiti writers. The current collection includes drawings of the NY skyline, lots of retro neighborhood graphics, and NYC artist t-shirts. Graft also stocks vinyl toys, watches, and headphones. Nothing for sale at Grast is priced over $100 making it really affordable. All of the t-shirts we saw were $20.
The interior design cleverly maximizes the shallow and long space. Shelves suspended from cables keep the t-shirts organized and make browsing easy. The perimeter walls are lined with green acoustical fabric panels which help to reduce the noise from the nearby trains. One other feature of the interior is it’s the only shop in the subway with air conditioning.
We spoke with Jun, the store manager who mentioned that they are currently working on a new collection of shirts with some icons of the NYC graffiti scene. The collection will be inspired by the subway system.
42nd St Station ACE Line
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