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The odd thing about the third floor of Crabtree's Hudson Belk is the kids' clothes section is behind tables of very expensive formal dinnerware.

I'd never been up there until we had to shop for my wife's friends' baby showers.

The notion of a chain of luxury auto service shops could be an untapped market...

Or do official dealership service centers foot the bill?

Is there a market for a jiffy lube-like store with added detailing services and a better waiting room?

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The odd thing about the third floor of Crabtree's Hudson Belk is the kids' clothes section is behind tables of very expensive formal dinnerware.

I'd never been up there until we had to shop for my wife's friends' baby showers.

The notion of a chain of luxury auto service shops could be an untapped market...

Or do official dealership service centers foot the bill?

Is there a market for a jiffy lube-like store with added detailing services and a better waiting room?

Actually I think so. Imagine a cafe like the one in Nordstrom, with wifi service, adjacent to a car place. I've been really impressed with the experience at Fred Anderson waiting for my car, but sometimes it would be even better to get real food.

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The notion of a chain of luxury auto service shops could be an untapped market...

Or do official dealership service centers foot the bill?

Is there a market for a jiffy lube-like store with added detailing services and a better waiting room?

Thats an interesting idea, though I would imagine that most people are too shocked with the gas prices right now to spend even more cash on their vehicles than necessary.

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WRAL article on the Crabtree restaurant expansions:

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/3104385

McCormick & Schmick's will open on July 10 while Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Brio Tuscan Grill are expected to open in the fall. Article goes on to talk about all the other floundering ventures around Crabtree, but I'll let those be reserved for their respective topics on this forum.

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^^

I doubt it at this point. With today's economic climate, Neiman Marcus' profits have fallen over 18% this year and they are really hurting from the lack of consumer spending, so I wouldn't look for them to open anymore stores anytime soon.

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^Especially not at Crabtree. It's not a bad mall (well, as far as malls go), but surely it's very far from getting a Neiman Marcus. I think a more feasible option would be to convince Saks to relocate.

Edited by brokenraven

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Has anyone been to McCormic and Schmit's (sp?) yet? A friend went for happy hour and was quite happy with their prices, even though he was eating a cheeseburger at a seafood restaurant.

I think I walked by the Tire Kingdom kiosk in Sout Park and didn't "get" it. Since it wasn't near a mall entrance/exit, I thought it was purely advertising for their services, not a point of sale for actual service. Something like that could easily work in Crabtree, maybe a kiosk on the first floor near Panera with work done offsite, freeing up Sears's garage space. While passing by a couple of weeks ago, it looked like Jiffy Lube is now out of that space.

I finally got in to Martin + Osa a few weeks ago and wasn't that impressed -- Banna Repbulic-ish clothes for the same amout of money or more. I know that's what they are going for, but there was only one other customer in the store (on a Wed night). With American Apparel dropping their "street retail only" stance by opening stores in South Park and other malls soon, will Crabtree get a store? AA's target demo -- socially responsible late teens/through 20s -- are well represented at Crabtree, though it would be too late for this holiday shopping season since most of the spaces are accounted for.

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Has anyone been to McCormic and Schmit's (sp?) yet? A friend went for happy hour and was quite happy with their prices, even though he was eating a cheeseburger at a seafood restaurant.

I think I walked by the Tire Kingdom kiosk in Sout Park and didn't "get" it. Since it wasn't near a mall entrance/exit, I thought it was purely advertising for their services, not a point of sale for actual service. Something like that could easily work in Crabtree, maybe a kiosk on the first floor near Panera with work done offsite, freeing up Sears's garage space. While passing by a couple of weeks ago, it looked like Jiffy Lube is now out of that space.

I finally got in to Martin + Osa a few weeks ago and wasn't that impressed -- Banna Repbulic-ish clothes for the same amout of money or more. I know that's what they are going for, but there was only one other customer in the store (on a Wed night). With American Apparel dropping their "street retail only" stance by opening stores in South Park and other malls soon, will Crabtree get a store? AA's target demo -- socially responsible late teens/through 20s -- are well represented at Crabtree, though it would be too late for this holiday shopping season since most of the spaces are accounted for.

I have eaten at M&S in other cities like San Jose. Good enough. I think the last time I ate in one I got Pork Chops. Quite good if I remember correctly.

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^Especially not at Crabtree. It's not a bad mall (well, as far as malls go), but surely it's very far from getting a Neiman Marcus. I think a more feasible option would be to convince Saks to relocate.

Only reason we have a Saks really is because they were sold on the TTC location because of its proximity to Wakefield and other high dollar developments. Crabtree doesn't have that nearby really, so it would be unlikely they would go there. On top of that, their TTC location is one of their top performers in terms of sales believe it or not.

Edited by Gard

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Only reason we have a Saks really is because they were sold on the TTC location because of its proximity to Wakefield and other high dollar developments. Crabtree doesn't have that nearby really, so it would be unlikely they would go there. On top of that, their TTC location is one of their top performers in terms of sales believe it or not.

That is difficult to believe. You mean for the entire company? Every time I've ever been in there it's been, well, dead. Where did you hear that?

And I know it's not likely for Saks to relocate, but don't you think it's more attainable for Crabtree to pursue that rather than getting Neiman Marcus to open up shop? I mean, they already have a store in Charlotte so a Raleigh location would only further dilute the name. Not that Raleigh isn't a nice place to live, but I think "PhD" when I hear Raleigh, not "high fashion".

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^So I realize that may have sounded like a really negative comment and I didn't mean for it to be. I really enjoy living in Raleigh, I just would never have thought in a million years that a Neiman Marcus would even consider opening a store here.

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That is difficult to believe. You mean for the entire company? Every time I've ever been in there it's been, well, dead. Where did you hear that?

And I know it's not likely for Saks to relocate, but don't you think it's more attainable for Crabtree to pursue that rather than getting Neiman Marcus to open up shop? I mean, they already have a store in Charlotte so a Raleigh location would only further dilute the name. Not that Raleigh isn't a nice place to live, but I think "PhD" when I hear Raleigh, not "high fashion".

I found this out by reading through their SEC filings and other financial data for a school research project and N&O mentioned it at one point as well a couple years back. What also helps the store be a top performer is that fact that their TTC location has the cheapest rent of all the stores in their chain, so more of their sales goes towards their bottom line. As far as the PhD goes, where you have PhD's, you will have high incomes, which will be where such retailers as Saks will be attracted to. Neiman Marcus will likely come at some point, but with the given economic climate and their sales declining, its unlikely they will take any chances until the economy corrects itself.

Edited by Gard

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The Hayes-Barton/Raleigh Country Club area along Glenwood from Wade Ave through Five Points to Crabtree might not be as McMansioned and flashy as Wakefield, but there is a lot of Old Money there. Not all of it goes toward high fashion, but a fair amount does. Those are the people that shop during the day, when the "riff-raff" are busy working their 9-5s or in school.

Saks knew that market, in addition to Durham/Chapel Hill folks who want brands not carried by Nordstroms, the Wakefield crowd, *and* the old money from Down East that has no other options could support a store with easy access to 540. I doubt Saks will move from TTC due to the amount of income coming in vs. rent they pay.

The brawl won't affect them too much because Saks *closes* before the rest of the mall does on Saturdays. Their customers probably just jump in and out and may never see the the rest of TTC.

The "high end anchor" talk came from the possibility that Sears won't renew its lease when it is up due to Sears-Kmart's stragegy of keeping rent low. Macy's won't export their men's store the way Hudson Belk did, so something is going to need to fill that space.

I was hoping American Apparel's focus on non-mall locations would lead to a store on F Street, but their new mall-friendly attitude will probably lead to a Triangle location in Crabtree, Southpoint, or maybe North Hills East first.

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The Hayes-Barton/Raleigh Country Club area along Glenwood from Wade Ave through Five Points to Crabtree might not be as McMansioned and flashy as Wakefield, but there is a lot of Old Money there. Not all of it goes toward high fashion, but a fair amount does. Those are the people that shop during the day, when the "riff-raff" are busy working their 9-5s or in school.

Saks knew that market, in addition to Durham/Chapel Hill folks who want brands not carried by Nordstroms, the Wakefield crowd, *and* the old money from Down East that has no other options could support a store with easy access to 540. I doubt Saks will move from TTC due to the amount of income coming in vs. rent they pay.

The brawl won't affect them too much because Saks *closes* before the rest of the mall does on Saturdays. Their customers probably just jump in and out and may never see the the rest of TTC.

Don't forget, they picked up all their stuff during the week while the rest of us were working our butts off, so no need to shop on a Saturday. They are probably busy at their beach houses on the weekend anyway. ;) Saks probably only has Saturday hours to accommodate the ones that like to 'be seen' at the mall shopping there.

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The "high end anchor" talk came from the possibility that Sears won't renew its lease when it is up due to Sears-Kmart's stragegy of keeping rent low. Macy's won't export their men's store the way Hudson Belk did, so something is going to need to fill that space.

I think the economy the way it is now will work to Sear's advantage as right now it is difficult to fill retail spaces, so Sears would likely use that as leverage for getting a lower or keeping rent the same.

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Only reason we have a Saks really is because they were sold on the TTC location because of its proximity to Wakefield and other high dollar developments. Crabtree doesn't have that nearby really, so it would be unlikely they would go there. On top of that, their TTC location is one of their top performers in terms of sales believe it or not.

I think of Crabtree as having very high-end demographics to draw on. The prices of houses in Hayes Barton blows away anything in Wakefield or Heritage and the money ITB is old. Homes in Wakefield are so much bigger for the money. Large tracts of land go for $1M per acre see Tatton Hall. But there is still plenty of money in Wakefield to support TTC, I just think of it as "new" money and not as highly coveted as Hayes Barton land as seen in the prices.

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I visited Crabtree recently after not having been in a few years and forgot how much I really love this mall. Got a lot of good deals, and it was good to see the fresh look and many new stores added to the mix. I've always thought of Crabtree as the "SouthPark" of the Triangle, so despite the great mix of stores it is odd to have upscale anchor stores (Saks, Nordstrom) spread out at other malls in the Triangle [since the closing of Lord & Taylor]. It would be interesting if Sears was replaced by Neiman Marcus or another high-end anchor store though, I think anything is game for this mall indeed.

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The brawl won't affect them too much because Saks *closes* before the rest of the mall does on Saturdays. Their customers probably just jump in and out and may never see the the rest of TTC.
Most times when I go to Saks in Raleigh, I don't go into the rest of the mall. The majority of the stores there are pretty pedestrian.

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Most times when I go to Saks in Raleigh, I don't go into the rest of the mall. The majority of the stores there are pretty pedestrian.

Seriously! Saks is way out of place there :(

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The different pulls of the economy -- the nationwide decline vs. the local improvements -- will set the tone for Sears' space, and possibly the rest of the mall with it.

They have added parking and higher end chain restaurants over the last few years, from P.F. Chang's to Cheesecake Factory to the new trio between Hudson Belk and Barnes & Noble. That plus adding Best Buy, Old Navy, Forever XXI, Martin and Osa, etc. in recent years has solidified it as a destination shopping center.

Despite being older and "boxy", it is more "walkable" because there are draws (for me) in different parts -- Crate and Barrel, food court/GameStop, Hudson Belk Mens store, and Best Buy/B&N. Walking Triangle Town Center and Cary Town center feels more like a chore than a pleasurable experience. For me TTC devloves into Z Gallery to B&N, maybe Dillards or Macy's, and not much else unless I am *walking*, not shopping.

But what is left/what's next for Crabtree? It is a blessing and curse that the mall doesn't have a NM/Saks/Nordstrom to draw attention from the rest of the mall. Blessing in that other stores, like Hudson Belk, thrive. But a curse in that there may be a perception from some people that it isn't "good enough" to draw the higher end anchors. Or have the "cool" factor of an outdoor wing and/or movie theater.

It is still my go-to shopping destination, though I haven't bought much anywhere lately.

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I kind of think NOT having an major outdoor area or a movie theater is a blessing for Crabtree since those are big congregating areas and potential sources of problems....I do a fairly quick in and out even when I have several stores on my list so I am not looking to hangout out or see a movie, and as webguy points out, I like having all my stores clustered which Crabtree seems to have done nicely.

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