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mallguy

Strawbridge's downtown closing; L&T to become a Macy's

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PghUSA    0

^^Any updates on this situation, I know that Bon-Ton and Boscov's (both central Pa. retailers) might be interested in the states largest market and having a downtown trophy slot there. Any word from Nordstrom's, they are still working on only their 2nd Pennsylvania location, I wonder if Mayor Streets office is really pushing this for development. It is a shame if they let this die or get converted to another office building.

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urbanophile    0

^^Any updates on this situation, I know that Bon-Ton and Boscov's (both central Pa. retailers) might be interested in the states largest market and having a downtown trophy slot there. Any word from Nordstrom's, they are still working on only their 2nd Pennsylvania location, I wonder if Mayor Streets office is really pushing this for development. It is a shame if they let this die or get converted to another office building.

Boscov's is already in the Philadelphia market.

My guess is that this will become condos and offices. Perhaps the lower two floors might go to a discount department store (e.g., Daffy's). The problem is not the market (Center City Phila can certainly sustain 2 department stores) but the location. 8th and Market (where strawbridge's is) is in teh hole in the donut that is Center City. No major department store retailer will go there unless ti si one that has already well established itself in that area (like strawbridges' had). Its a shame that Federated got both L&T and strawbridges' since ocne that was the case it was pretty mucha given that they'd consolidate their operations in Center City (rather than have 2 competing stores the way May did) and choose the better location (L&T) for their macy's.

As for Nordstrom, other than the west coast and one oddball location in downtown Indianapolis, they've pretty much been a suburban retailer. They don't even have any presence whatsoever in New York City (preferring the suburbs to teh largest retail market in the country). Street would be stupid to waste $$ luring them into Center City since I'm sure they'd ask for tons of incentive to get them to deviate from their suburban pattern. Phila isn't at the stage where it needs to be shovelling money to dept. stores to get them to locate in Center City. The retail market in CC is already strong enough with or without them.

I actualyl think the one good thing the city could do is to simply tear down the Gallery Mall and entice many of the stores in it to relocate to a new development in blighted North Philadelphia. Most of the shoppers in the Gallery already come from North Philly as it is so it techncially should not be a major issue to entice the stores to relocate there. This will help spur development in North Philly AND create an open space in the heart of the city which WOULD attract department stores into opening (as it stands, the only spaces in Center City big enough to accomodate dept. stores are the poorly located strawbridge's and a site across the street from it). Once the Gallery is torn down, I can easily see stores like bloomingdale's and perhaps a few others locating on its site (maybe even Nordstrom if they get over their suburban bent).

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PghUSA    0

Interesting, didn't realize the "doughnut" affect going on at that location, I guess that is telling as far as the tough sell any prospective retailer will have in luring customers use to easy car access and parking?

It is a shame how many great brand names are dying (Marshall Fields in Chitown, Kaufmann's in W.Pa. and E. Ohio, Lord & Taylor) with all the consolidation in the department store area.

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StevenRocks    0
It is a shame how many great brand names are dying (Marshall Fields in Chitown, Kaufmann's in W.Pa. and E. Ohio, Lord & Taylor) with all the consolidation in the department store area.
I think in a few years when we're Target-ed and Wal-Mart-ed out in this country, we'll realize that corporate America threw away way too much of our retail past (with or help) chasing the almighty lowest price at all costs.

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urbanophile    0

Interesting, didn't realize the "doughnut" affect going on at that location, I guess that is telling as far as the tough sell any prospective retailer will have in luring customers use to easy car access and parking?

8th and Market is the cursed intersection of Center City. Nothing seems to work there. In years past, it was the center of Philadelphia retail since there were three department stores there - Strawbridge & Clothier; Lit Bros.; and Gimbel's. Also Snellenberg's and Wannamakers (now L&T) were not to far away. Then, in the 70's, Lit Bros. closed and Gimbel's moved a few blocks away into the Gallery Mall only to close down when that chain closed. JCPenny arrived in the 80's, also in the Gallery Mall but that closed too with the decline in that chain. This basically left the Gallery Mall as an inner city mall that is well patronized but *not patronized by people who work and live in Center City*. Msot of the shoppers in the mall come from North and West Philly and, over the years, the mix of stores in that mall have adjusted to fit that demographic. Nothing wrong with that. Its jsut that Center City residents tend not to shop in the Gallery since it doesn't serve their tastes. Thus that area has kind of been abandoned by the very neighborhood it is in. Meanwhile the center of CEnter City retail has shifted to Walnut and Chestnut Streets west of Broad but neither of those streets has a space large enough for a new department store.

It is a shame how many great brand names are dying (Marshall Fields in Chitown, Kaufmann's in W.Pa. and E. Ohio, Lord & Taylor) with all the consolidation in the department store area.

I think it'll be a matter of time before department stores fade from the scene entirely. Already, the only true major full service urban dept. store retailer in the country is Macy's. I think Macy's will eventually go the way of Nordstrom and L&T and basically sell mostly clothing and cosmetics. Best Buy and the like have cornered the electronics and appliance sector and various furniture stores have cornered that market. THe only reason most people go to dept. stores now is to shop for clothes and cosmetics. As far as that is concerned, the various name brand clothing boutiques that are increasingly becoming available in majro cities and in major malls (Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.) are eating into that market as well.

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StevenRocks    0
I think it'll be a matter of time before department stores fade from the scene entirely. Already, the only true major full service urban dept. store retailer in the country is Macy's. I think Macy's will eventually go the way of Nordstrom and L&T and basically sell mostly clothing and cosmetics. Best Buy and the like have cornered the electronics and appliance sector and various furniture stores have cornered that market. THe only reason most people go to dept. stores now is to shop for clothes and cosmetics. As far as that is concerned, the various name brand clothing boutiques that are increasingly becoming available in majro cities and in major malls (Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.) are eating into that market as well.
I see Macy's going the downscale way of Wal-Mart and Target and failing because they're not really providing value to the average consumer. They're not really out to save the department store segment, just to finish killing it while making money off the excess real estate they have.

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Everest    0

Boscov's is already in the Philadelphia market.

But not in Center City. Boscov's should absolutely have a presence in Center City and may want to think about moving corporate HQ into center city. Reading is beautiful place but it doesn't have that cache of being " The next great city of the usa"

I actualyl think the one good thing the city could do is to simply tear down the Gallery Mall and entice many of the stores in it to relocate to a new development in blighted North Philadelphia. Most of the shoppers in the Gallery already come from North Philly as it is so it techncially should not be a major issue to entice the stores to relocate there.

You will have a lot of trouble trying to convince the 150 + stores of the Gallery to move into North Philly. They have no reason to want to start swimming in shark infested waters. They are perfectly content having North Philaldephians come to them. Why would they want to relocate their businesses where the criminals live?

This will help spur development in North Philly AND create an open space in the heart of the city which WOULD attract department stores into opening (as it stands, the only spaces in Center City big enough to accomodate dept. stores are the poorly located strawbridge's and a site across the street from it). Once the Gallery is torn down, I can easily see stores like bloomingdale's and perhaps a few others locating on its site (maybe even Nordstrom if they get over their suburban bent).

I agree with you 100% but realistically they are not going to tear down the Gallery. With the momentum that center city has going Market East would change overnight without the North Philadlephia influence. Unfortunately its not going to be that simple, you can't just tear down the Gallery, alot of issues are involved here including the rights of minorities/poor in a majority minority/poor city.

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PghUSA    0

I am interested in how much TIF $$ is being circulated in Philly and metro to lure and keep big business and retail to a certain corner or neighborhood. Tax incremented financing if I remember correctly, and I believe it is a state wide program in which a city can offer incentives and other perks to would be developers to kind of partner with them on the risk of improving a blighted section. Any ideas how city hall is using that benefit to improve things?

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