O, Canada, Where Did You Get that Dress: Joe Fresh Takes Manhattan, But Will New Yorkers Buy It?

Does this come in a size 'Eh?'

Orange is our specialty. Orange is the enemy of beige./Orange is the meaning of happiness. Orange is always alert./Orange is sunny every day. Orange is tirelessly upbeat/Orange is mood changing. Orange is brighter than tangerine.

This is the mantra hanging outside the dressing room of Joe Fresh’s Madison Avenue store, a monochrome cri de coeur.

“It’s a great thing to try and bring things that are fresh and fashionable at a good price,” Alan Saltz said, thumbing through a rack of polos. Middle-aged, with salt-and-pepper hair and prescription Ray Ban glasses, Mr. Saltz is director of camp programs at the 92nd Street Y—not exactly the H&M, or even orange, set, and here he was, having already picked up some shirts on a previous trip.

“Not to be smug, but it’s a great price point for disposable clothing,” Jay Hupp, another Upper East Sider told The Observer, adding that he is “allergic to H&M.” He left with a nylon jacket for $49. “It has plenty of pockets, great for walking the dog, and if it gets dirty, who cares?”

Vanessa Khuong had come all the way from Jersey City to shop at the Joe Fresh on Madison with her sister, Lana. They are both from Illinois, but Vanessa Khuong was in town from Boulder, Colo., where she now lives, for some consulting work. “It was on my spreadsheet of things to do,” Ms. Khuong said.
She was the only one of the people The Observer met on a recent Sunday afternoon who knew Joe Fresh was from Canada—she had read about the brand on “New York’s very active discount Tumblr scene”—but even then she was ignorant of the grocery store roots. “I guess it at least helps explain the name,” Ms. Khuong said.

It may not matter, either. After all, Lululemon and Aldo are Canadian companies—who knew? This is not Mounty-approved Roots or Canada Goose. “It’s a new store with good-looking clothes and ridiculously low prices,” Ms. Sklar said. “There are no supersized boxes of cereal on the shelves, so unless there’s another tip off the average shopper probably won’t know.”

O, Canada, Where Did You Get that Dress: Joe Fresh Takes Manhattan, But Will New Yorkers Buy It?