Shop Gotham knows how to win a shopaholic’s heart. Especially the hearts of tourists visiting the Big Apple. Shopping has
become an essential part of the modern travel experience and companies
such as the six-year-old traveling company are carving out a retail niche to cash in on the
multibillion-dollar international tourism market.
established in Europe and Asia, shopping tours are now poised to become
big business in New York, according to WWD.
Gotham (shopgotham.com) was founded in 2001 by Rebecca Merritt and
Joanna Knapp, sold the company to Marla Hander in June 2006. At the time
of the purchase, the company was earning $200,000 annually — Hander
said she has managed to increase earnings by 30% in just one
year. She said she expects to see another 20% increase by the
end of 2007 if the euro remains strong against the dollar. As of
Monday, the euro was trading at about $1.38 per dollar.
New Yorker and I’ve always been a good shopper," said Hander, a
self-professed bargain-hunter. "I wanted to meld that with tourism
because I know that most women tourists come to New York to shop."
Hander is now focusing her
efforts on marketing to foreign countries, with a specific
concentration on Asia and South America. Shop Gotham pitches shopping
as an experience beyond what any guidebook can describe and makes one feel like an insider. Why just shop department stores when you can have a guided tour to trendy boutiques in SoHo,
NoLIta, the Meatpacking District and the Garment Center?
Why didn’t I think of this?