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European retail biz eye Staten Island for fashion outlets

It has always been a trend of the United States taking its fashion cues from Europe carrying the finest luxury brands from Italy, France and Spain in its high-end stores. But there's more to European retail than expensive goods from luxury designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Versace.

With three large-scale Staten Island retail projects in different stages of development, European retailers are leasing space to compete in the New York marketplace which is considered to be the nation's fashion capital. And there are affordable European retailers that offer trendy apparel and other items, which have become increasingly appealing in the United States.

For example, Primark, which is opening in the Staten Island Mall, New Springville in March will offer trendy fashions for very low prices. Staten Island is also a more cost effective alternative to Manhattan where rents are nearly quadruple for commercial space.

Some say that the fact that European retailers are eyeing Staten Island is directly tied to the tourism the New York Wheel and outlets are expected to bring. But European retailers say it's important to do the homework before opening in a new market. Primark principals say it's important to offer the types of merchandise that Americans -- and in this case, specifically New Yorkers will want to spend their money.