Comings and goings:
- Upscale furniture chain Robb and Stucky is liquidating after not being able to come up with the cash to continue operating their stores. Also unable to find a buyer, the 95-year-old chain is forced to go out of business. Based in Ft. Myers, Fla., they have locations in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. They were the largest chain of upscale home furnishings.
- Last month we reported that Borders was closing 200 stores, with the option of closing 75 more. According to the Detroit Free Press, they are now exercising the option. 75 of 136 stores that were considered “on the bubble” of profitability will close, and exactly which ones will be announced next week. The decision will ultimately be made on lease agreements, so if your store gets a good deal it’ll likely stay put.
- Target and Bloomingdale’s are an unlikely pairing for a mall, but both will be moving into the outdated Shops at Georgetown Park in Washington, D.C. I wonder how this will reconfigure the mall? Will there be an interior corridor at all anymore?
- 8 of the 10 food court eateries at Hampton Roads’ MacArthur Center Mall are closing in short order. What’s going on there? Is the mall dying?
- Costco is coming to the Sarasota (Fla.) Square Mall, after receiving a permit to demolish the extant former Dillard’s building. I wonder if Costco will eschew mall access like it has in the past at other malls?
Other retail news:
- An article on Bloomberg.com investigates the growing trend of putting grocery and upscale/foodie vendors in malls. The grocery thing isn’t new, though. Early malls frequently had a grocery store anchor, and most closed by the 1970s-1980s. Malls in other parts of the world, even Canada, often currently feature a grocery anchor. It’s neat that the trend is coming back though, because I’m not entirely sure why it left.
- According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, the Atlantic Station project will be changing from a ‘mall feel’ to be ‘more like Atlanta’. I’m not sure exactly what this means, but they plan to retenant about 25% of the development and give it a more local, personalized feel.
- Westfield’s Warner Center development is underway in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. When complete, the area will be a new ‘downtown’ node for the area, if not for the entire valley.
- According to The Atlantic, Facebook.com will be the mall of the future. Is this entirely a new idea? On one hand, many people do spend an inordinate amount of time surfing Facebook, but does aggregating online retail purchases from many sites into one somehow completely usurp bricks-and-mortar establishments? I think being able to go to a store and physically feel merchandise will always be the trump card for keeping actual retail stores in business in many sectors.
- A blogger on Allbusiness.com explores the implications of sameness in malls across the country, and the reasons why fewer local stores exist in malls today.
- Maplewood Mall in the suburban Twin Cities is getting a much-needed renovation to compete with Goliath, also known as the Mall of America.