Vancouver’s RYU to open in Brooklyn

Location would be the athleisure retailer’s sixth location

RYU CEO Marcello Leone plans to have eight stores open by the end of 2018 | Glen Korstrom

Vancouver athletics and leisurewear seller RYU Apparel Inc. (TSX Venture: RYU) plans to open a store in Brooklyn, New York early next year in an opening that would mark the brand’s sixth store.

RYU, which stands for Respect Your Universe, opened its fourth store, at 361 Queen Street, in Toronto, on September 25. It plans to open its fifth store, at Metropolis at Metrotown on October 14 or October 15, RYU CEO Marcello Leone told Business in Vancouver October 2.

Other stores are on West 4th Avenue and on Thurlow Street near Robson Street in Vancouver, and at Park Royal in West Vancouver.

He plans to have eight stores by the end of 2018 and said he will announce two more locations in the near future.

“Williamsburg is an up-and-coming neighbourhood in Brooklyn and it’s near Manhattan,” Leone said, when asked why he did not locate on Manhattan Island.

“A lot of people who work in Manhattan, live in Williamsburg so it allows us to do our activations and let people get to know us and our brand.”

Many other Vancouver fashion retailers have opened in New York City and BIV reported last month that some have gone big with flagship stores in Manhattan.

The Williamsburg area has a hip and urban feel and some brands that have locations in the Brooklyn district include Apple, Equinox and Whole Foods.

Leone told BIV that one advantage of being in Williamsburg, which is a short drive over the Williamsburg Bridge from Manhattan, is that lease rates are cheaper.

That allows him to lease a 2,800-square-foot store, which is larger than he would be able to afford in Manhattan.

“Expansion into the New York City area allows us to create connections and build community in one of the most influential athletic and fashion markets in the world.”

In May, BIV featured a profile of Marcello Leone.