The company that created the wildly popular Web logs Curbed.com and Eater.com is now taking aim at the retail world with Racked.com.
While the new site also features insider information and acerbic commentary, its editors say it has a different focus than Curbed, the city's most widely read real estate blog. "The site will have a story line and perspective that's completely different," the editorial director of the seven Web sites in the Curbed Network, Ben Leventhal, said. "It will have its own characters and recurring heroes and villains and so on."
To keep abreast of the latest retail industry news, the editor of Racked, Leslie Price, 25, said she rises by 7:45 each morning to start reading the day's newspapers, magazines, and blogs, as well email tips from readers. Ms. Price said she usually starts blogging before 9, and aims for about 12 posts a day. She works both at the Curbed Network headquarters in SoHo and from her apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, an area she describes as "kind of desolate" and not a "shopping destination."
But Ms. Price said she conducts her "research" all over the city. "I basically shop everywhere. I try to do it whenever I'm outside," she said. "Every block has somewhere where you can spend money."
The editor also posts about emerging shopping areas such as the financial district. "Is way, way downtown the next hot retail zone?" she writes on Racked, pointing to the Salty Paw, an upscale pet emporium opening in the South Street Seaport area, near a Thomas Pink store and a boutique specializing in girlish frocks, Leontine.
One might think such stores would be tempted to buy good press, but Mr. Leventhal said the site's revenue comes entirely from ad sales. While he would not provide exact readership figures, he said his company's seven Web sites received more than 2 million hits last month. Based on Racked's coverage of store openings and closings, he said, "Brokers may use it as a resource to find listings."
Indeed, while the general public may log onto Racked to learn about sample sales and new designers, some retail real estate brokers say they are already scouring the site to keep tabs on store openings and closings — and the competition. Even pure gossip and unconfirmed speculation are enough to send ripples through the city's highly competitive retail real estate sector.
A principal at Newmark Knight Frank Retail, Jeffrey Roseman, said Racked "is great for our industry because timing is always important. Information is power, especially when you read someone is going out of business."
At least one veteran broker said she agrees. "We're a city of shopaholics," the chairman of the retail leasing and sales division of Prudential Douglas Elliman, Faith Hope Consolo, said. "Whether it's $2 at Starbucks or $400 on shoes or a $49 H&M-whatever designed by Chloé or Madonna, we're all junkies."
"I think it's a nice way to consolidate all the different rumors and information" about retailers, a director at Madison Retail Group, Chris DeCrosta, said.
The company counts Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, and Sephora among its clients. "If a retailer reads that one of their competitors is taking a store somewhere, it might cause them to focus on that area," Mr. DeCrosta said.