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mallguy

Menlo Park Mall

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I went to Menlo Park Mall for the first time yesterday. The mall was absolutely packed- except for the Nordstrom, which had much thinner crowds than the rest of the mall. The Cafe Nordstrom was closed for the day (around 6pm on a Saturday), and the third floor seemed to have been walled off, except for a customer service area. The store seemed not to have been updated since the '90s.

What gives? Is the store underperforming? Was the third floor a regular sales floor that got boarded up?

Also, why do "luxury" malls in NJ so often have local mom & pop stores in them? Menlo Park had plenty of A-grade tenants in it (Apple Store, Coach, Sony Style, Cheesecake Factory, etc.) and, again, the mall was completely full of crowds of shoppers. There should be no shortage of stores looking to get to that type of center. But there are a few odd stores- a dollar store, with hand-made signs, a mom & pop furniture store next to the Nordstrom, etc. That just struck me as odd, and I've seen it elsewhere- principally at Riverside.

Thanks.

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I was googling images of Nordstrom to see if Nordstrom had updated the Menlo Park store and came across your question. I used to work for Nordstrom and I was there for the 1991 store opening day to greet the customers.

Nordstrom had three restaurants in the store at the time. The cafè you speak of was the original Garden Court restaurant.

The original Cafè was on the third floor to the left with an lovely outside patio. (You can still see the patio from the outside front entrance from above). As you came up the escalator, straight ahead was the original customer service department, turn right and there was lingerie, followed by Kidswear Boys, Girls, Infants and Kid's Shoes. Next was The Rail department and next to that was a huge BP department and finally back to the Cafè. I think Point of View was between the Cafè and customer service.

They closed the third floor many years back because the cost of sales per square footage was too high. By closing the third floor, they would save on operating expenses, (janitorial, lighting, the high cost of electricity for the a/c to cool the additional floor, save inventory costs by not having to purchase as much inventory to make the store appear full, etc...etc). I had suggested to the store manager at the time of the third floor closing, in putting a Nordstrom Rack similiar to the Nordstrom Townson in Maryland. I guess I didn't have much clout in the decision making at the time...lol. Sorry it took so long for me to discover this.

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