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Afro Saxon

Where is the retail

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There is plenty of restaurants and residential projects being developed downtown, but will we ever able to attract a top notch retailer? A retailer unique to this area would be best, something that can't match anywhere else, in Greater Hartford. I think a Neiman Marcus, or Saks Fifth Ave would provide a unique shopping experience and bring a bit of prestige downtown. It would offer something that Westfarms and Buckland doesn't have and offers no alternative too. The most upscale department store we have is Nordstroms which isn't very upscale compared the other Nordstroms. With the "Luxury" condos being contructed I think we should have equivalent retail options, it would lend greatly to the atmosphere and attract more people. We also need bookstores though I don't think it has to be a national retailer, I still can't believe there are not any bookstores downtown, its embarrassing.

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This is all a very complicated question...in my opinion.

Many will be quick to say that downtown Hartford cant support national retailers....but there are many other cities that have national retailers in there downtowns for example Nordstroms, Macys and JC Penny in Providence. The problem is that these places are in traditional malls built downtown...something Hartford doesnt have and I feel shouldnt have. There are malls in downtown Providence, Waterbury, Boston and even Manhattan (Manhattan Mall) and these obviousally draw retailers. We should be trying to work to naturally get retailers to open up downtown.

It no doubt is a tough sell...national retailers have trouble even in Boston and New York City at times. But smaller retailers and restaurants have shown success downtown such as CVS which is always packed and Mortons Steakhouse which does a great business. There is no reason downtown cannot support some kind of bookstore.

Now I read about the Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus and that would be great for downtown but I feel if that were to ever happen it wouldnt be in the traditional downtown department store form...it would something like the ones in Boston that are connected to other shops, restaurants, hotels and a convention center. It wouldnt be like Saks, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc in NYC.

We should work to create what New Haven has for example. There are tons of shops (national and non national retailers), restaurants, cafes, bookstores, etc downtown. For example there is Ann Taylor and the the only Urban Outfitters in Connecticut.

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There is plenty of restaurants and residential projects being developed downtown, but will we ever able to attract a top notch retailer? A retailer unique to this area would be best, something that can't match anywhere else, in Greater Hartford. I think a Neiman Marcus, or Saks Fifth Ave would provide a unique shopping experience and bring a bit of prestige downtown. It would offer something that Westfarms and Buckland doesn't have and offers no alternative too. The most upscale department store we have is Nordstroms which isn't very upscale compared the other Nordstroms. With the "Luxury" condos being contructed I think we should have equivalent retail options, it would lend greatly to the atmosphere and attract more people. We also need bookstores though I don't think it has to be a national retailer, I still can't believe there are not any bookstores downtown, its embarrassing.

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Heck, a nice Legal Seafood would go great downtown! How about a house of blues? Sally's may not be too happy about that one, but I always thought that would go great on the Ct river and connected to Front street somehow.

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With all the suburban retail centers, I think it would be smart to focus on Quincy Market as a model. Small boutiques with one of the kind things, and small food retailers etc.

I don't see people heading into DT for Nordstrom's. I just don't.

I would love to see local "go to places" get a place on Front Street. Pepe's Pizza from New Haven, Abbott Lobster in Noank (Or Lenny and Joe's Fishtale etc), Mozzicato's bakery...heck even Ted's Steamed Cheeseburgers or Shadey Glen.

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The retail is not here because the city isn't making an effort to get it. Remember 10-12 years ago, when Hartford had a lot fewer people living downtown?

We had G Fox, the Gap, TJ Maxx, etc.

There are more people here now than then, so it should be easy to get retailers back.

Before the Civic Center was torn down, they had to kick out B. Dalton, GNC, TJ Maxx, Ann Taylor, etc.

It should be easy to get them back. There are more people now.

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The retail is not here because the city isn't making an effort to get it. Remember 10-12 years ago, when Hartford had a lot fewer people living downtown?

We had G Fox, the Gap, TJ Maxx, etc.

There are more people here now than then, so it should be easy to get retailers back.

Before the Civic Center was torn down, they had to kick out B. Dalton, GNC, TJ Maxx, Ann Taylor, etc.

It should be easy to get them back. There are more people now.

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Yes but remember a lot of those were leftovers from a time when there was a large retail presence downtown without nearly as much retail resources in the burbs and they eventually closed due to lack of foot traffic. There was a time when you could hear your heartbeat in the Civic mall. :ph34r:

I don't think you will find a market for the boxes in DT. Specialty retailers I say yes.

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I think the original poster was talking about none food retailers. Realistically, I doubt we will see any retail district

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These retailers all travel in groups, really. The thing is, people keep talking about wanting upscale clothing stores, jewelry stores, restaurants, etc. Things that are all available in the city center already. The need is for goods that force make visitors and residents to leave the area to obtain. If you really care about Hartford, it wouldn't matter if it's a local or national or international retailer, just that these goods are available. I'd prefer local, actually.

And yeah, those who wish for a department store, dream on, even in the suburbs those types of places are becoming relics. Specialty retailers are taking over every segment.

And for those who care about chain restaurants, please, do you frequent the restaurants already in downtown? The type of person who only goes to chain restaurants are not the type that will ever come downtown. The restaurants we have definitely serve Hartford well.

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How does Tuesdays compete? I can easily understand Stackpoles demographic businesswear and casual wear for the somewhat traditional middle class person. Tuesdays does sell suits, but, they aren't business suits. I'm assuming they are directed toward younger and trendy people, where are the customers coming from? Anyone on the board shop there.

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How does Tuesdays compete? I can easily understand Stackpoles demographic businesswear and casual wear for the somewhat traditional middle class person. Tuesdays does sell suits, but, they aren't business suits. I'm assuming they are directed toward younger and trendy people, where are the customers coming from? Anyone on the board shop there.

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I used to in High School in the late 90's when Iceburg first came out. Not since then though.

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HA! I remember that, the Warner Brothers cartoon characters. In high school? You were ballin.

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I've done the occassional tie, cufflinks, etc., from Tuesdays. I have a couple of colleagues who shop there regularly. They are both early 40s and pretty well put together.

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I shop at Tuesdays regularly. They compete because they offer what you can't get at Buckland or West Farms. And they have been there for 30+ years. They are a Hartford institution.

There is definitely a market for upscale shopping in the Hartford area... look at the economic demographics of Connecticut and the Hartford area and it couldn't be more obvious. Economics aren't the problem here. Many of the retailers we are talking about have their new locations down to a science and none of them are going to go into an area that isn't already a shopping district. Its why Buckland, Westfarms and the Berlin Turnpike continue to boom while downtown struggles. If downtown had a thriving shopping area, there would be no problem attracting an A/X, Urban Outfitters, Kenneth Cole or a Room & Board because there would already be a critical mass here. I really don't think downtown resident population has anything to do with it (excluding major US cities) unless you are talking about convenience retail such as dry cleaners, banks, sandwich shops, etc.

And as for the chain restaurants... I still for the life of me can't understand the attraction. I guess if you spend enough money, you can convince people of anything - like a place like Ruby Tuesday's serves good food.

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I shop at Tuesdays regularly. They compete because they offer what you can't get at Buckland or West Farms. And they have been there for 30+ years. They are a Hartford institution.

There is definitely a market for upscale shopping in the Hartford area... look at the economic demographics of Connecticut and the Hartford area and it couldn't be more obvious. Economics aren't the problem here. Many of the retailers we are talking about have their new locations down to a science and none of them are going to go into an area that isn't already a shopping district. Its why Buckland, Westfarms and the Berlin Turnpike continue to boom while downtown struggles. If downtown had a thriving shopping area, there would be no problem attracting an A/X, Urban Outfitters, Kenneth Cole or a Room & Board because there would already be a critical mass here. I really don't think downtown resident population has anything to do with it (excluding major US cities) unless you are talking about convenience retail such as dry cleaners, banks, sandwich shops, etc.

And as for the chain restaurants... I still for the life of me can't understand the attraction. I guess if you spend enough money, you can convince people of anything - like a place like Ruby Tuesday's serves good food.

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I've shopped at Tuesday's in the past. I really like the store, but can't shop there these days due to money constraints. that being said, if I could I would, it's a unique shop downtown, and downtown should blossom with them. It's a crime that it is not....

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The steak at Morton's is second to none (except Luger's) . For a chain it provides a consistantly excellent product. Hartford is lucky to have Morton's.

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The steak at Morton's is second to none (except Luger's) . For a chain it provides a consistantly excellent product. Hartford is lucky to have Morton's.

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With all the suburban retail centers, I think it would be smart to focus on Quincy Market as a model. Small boutiques with one of the kind things, and small food retailers etc.

I don't see people heading into DT for Nordstrom's. I just don't.

I would love to see local "go to places" get a place on Front Street. Pepe's Pizza from New Haven, Abbott Lobster in Noank (Or Lenny and Joe's Fishtale etc), Mozzicato's bakery...heck even Ted's Steamed Cheeseburgers or Shadey Glen.

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