Fallas penetrates Downtown market

Fallas penetrates Downtown market
GoodFallas: What was once a Conway discount store on Fulton Street is now known as “Fallas.”
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

This Fulton Mall department store’s new handle really sticks out.

The Conway discount clothing store between Jay Street and Red Hook Lane changed its name last week after more than 20 years — to Fallas. We figured we would give the new handlers the benefit of a doubt and ask if the fresh label is not pronounced the Spanish way — “fah-yah-s.”

“No. It’s fa-luss,” an employee, who asked not to be named, explained.

A California company called National Stores bought the Conway chain in January and re-christened the stores. Their official full name is Fallas Paredes, which translates to “failure walls” in Spanish. National Stores runs more than 200 Fallas outlets around the country, including 14 in New York now that the Conway deal has gone through. A worker at the Fulton Street location said the company is keeping all of the Conway staff.

The store’s racks have been switched out, but its employees and clothing stock remain much the same and, so far, many long-time customers have not noticed much change.

“The styles are a little different, but it’s pretty similar,” said Francesca Rodriguez, an East New York resident who has been shopping at the retailer for a dozen years and was browsing at the re-branded Fallas with her daughter.

The 70-year-old Conway chain, which had its flagship store on in Manhattan, operated an outpost on Fulton Street for more than 20 years, moving into the current storefront in 2010 from a smaller location up the block. The clothier lured people in with low prices on threads for kids and adults.

“If I need to find a cute outfit, I know I can come down here and get it,” said Rodriguez. “It’s affordable.”

The store conversion will be complete in the next couple of weeks, according a staffer.

In the meantime, the provocative new moniker will take some getting used to.

“Conway was a fixture for Downtown Brooklyn,” said Gordon Glover, who walked to the store from his home in Cobble Hill.

“Fallas … Fallas … Fallas …” he said, trying the new name on for size. “It’ll grow on you, I guess.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Con-do: The sign on the new Fallas department store Downtown still says “Conway,” the store’s previous incarnation.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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