101_ce

Florida Mall/Mall at Millenia

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Disney is building high end shoppings in downtown Disney to prevent the tourists from venturing out to other areas...that will hurt Millenia.

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I sat through a presentation by Macy's CEO in New York where he used Florida Mall & Millenia Mall as examples of why they allow for local market customization. He pointed out how at first glance you would close one of the stores because they are too close to each other. But after they customized each store to the clientele, both stores are among the top performing stores in the country. 

 

Also regarding the Macy's Home Furnishings I believe those are usually not in Malls...but not 100% sure.

There are Macy's Home Furnishings stores in malls. Dadeland Mall and Aventura Mall in Miami have Home Furnishings combined with their Men's department in what were their old Burdines buildings, since there were already Macy's in each of those malls when the acquisition of Burdines took place. Another example off the top of my head is the enormous South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California.

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Disney is building high end shoppings in downtown Disney to prevent the tourists from venturing out to other areas...that will hurt Millenia.

I'm sure Disney has a lot of power, but I really can't see the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel at Disney. 

 

Also, via the Orlando Business Journal Saks has told employees that the store will be closing by the end of three months. I don't know if we can count them out for not having an Orlando location at all, just not this soon. I can't see them at Millenia but a new development could come along with a Saks within a few years. They seem to be back in expansion mode somewhat (moving Sarasota, Houston, and Cincinnati stores, and renovating Chicago and Boca Raton stores; Canada) so I could see them opening more stores again, including Orlando. I think their problem (and Bloomingdale's also) was that they opened in the second best locations and ignored some markets letting Nordstrom and Neiman snatch up the best locations and expand to and inside stronger markets. I don't even know why Saks opened in some of the locations that they did. The store in Raleigh is in a regular mall, Tulsa is fairly small, the SF store on the other side of Union Square, etc.) 

 

I wonder if Nordstrom will close as well? Like I said before, I couldn't see a market the size of Orlando without a Nordstrom store. I think a compact 3 level store next to Macy's in the back with a parking deck would be great for both Nordstrom and Millenia. 

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I'm sure Disney has a lot of power, but I really can't see the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel at Disney. 

 

Also, via the Orlando Business Journal Saks has told employees that the store will be closing by the end of three months. I don't know if we can count them out for not having an Orlando location at all, just not this soon. I can't see them at Millenia but a new development could come along with a Saks within a few years. They seem to be back in expansion mode somewhat (moving Sarasota, Houston, and Cincinnati stores, and renovating Chicago and Boca Raton stores; Canada) so I could see them opening more stores again, including Orlando. I think their problem (and Bloomingdale's also) was that they opened in the second best locations and ignored some markets letting Nordstrom and Neiman snatch up the best locations and expand to and inside stronger markets. I don't even know why Saks opened in some of the locations that they did. The store in Raleigh is in a regular mall, Tulsa is fairly small, the SF store on the other side of Union Square, etc.) 

 

I wonder if Nordstrom will close as well? Like I said before, I couldn't see a market the size of Orlando without a Nordstrom store. I think a compact 3 level store next to Macy's in the back with a parking deck would be great for both Nordstrom and Millenia. 

Malls that are prospering often seem to get serious about additions at the 15-year mark; Millenia has been remarkably quiet about expansion despite all the positive press about it so I am looking for more as we get closer to that milestone. As for Disney, they investigated building an upscale mall back during the Eisner era, going so far as to line up Harrod's as a potential lead anchor. In the end, we got Celebration instead. SInce then, I've not heard rumors (at least from anyone with Ears) that the company is proposing anything of that caliber for Disney Springs. Perhaps you could make the case for it based on Golden Oak, Four Seasons and the Waldorf going in, but luxury retail is not one of Disney's core competencies (in fact, over the years they've run away from it and the company has long since divested itself of their non-resort development arm). If it were in the offing, I think the partners they'd need to pull it off would have floated a trial balloon or two by now. But hey, I stand ready to be surprised.

Edited by spenser1058

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Poor little old Fashion Square.

 

Had to go to Sears today to pick up a tool I needed & decided to take a stroll out into the mall.

 

Saturday afternoon, two & a half weeks before Christmas & the only word I can think of to describe the "crowd" would be sparse.

 

Parking availability was just about the same as a normal weekday.

 

Sad.

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Poor little old Fashion Square.

 

Had to go to Sears today to pick up a tool I needed & decided to take a stroll out into the mall.

 

Saturday afternoon, two & a half weeks before Christmas & the only word I can think of to describe the "crowd" would be sparse.

 

Parking availability was just about the same as a normal weekday.

 

Sad.

 

Thanks for this. I read it just after reading an article in Salon:

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/08/my_road_trip_on_route_gop/

 

It's a political piece, but the thing that struck me was the 20-something author's description of driving through the Midwest:

 

"Every town I pass through feels more or less the same. Each features a bucolic downtown hub surrounded by strip malls, chain restaurants and big box stores. In one sense, the sameness is sort of depressing: Nothing, you realize, is as unique as you think it is. And yet, another part of me feels an odd comfort in the familiarity — the sense that, no matter where you go, you’re never too far from a place that feels kind of like home."

 

For an entire generation of Americans, the fact that such a depressing tableau is "home" strikes a chord with me. Why did we come to accept that? The great downtown department store emporia, whether Macy's on Herald Square or John Wanamaker's flagship Philly store with the enormous pipe organ or Marshall Field's State Street store with the enormous clock out front, were honest-to-God experiences. Even as you go down the pecking order to Orlando's 1950's downtown Ivey's and Dickson-Ives with their iconic star spread across Orange Avenue during the Christmas holidays, there was a sense of destination even if it was just the regular Saturday shopping trip in a farm-to-market town.

 

Think about it - can you imagine Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) joyously throwing her hat in the air in the parking lot of Fashion Square (or worse, Walmart) the way she did in front of Donelson's in downtown Minneapolis?

 

At least Colonial Plaza had a "downtown department store" as its anchor (in fact, it was originally destined for downtown) - Jordan Marsh (the design of which was replicated by several Allied divisions in downtowns across America in the 1960's). It still had wide aisles, multiple escalators and wide plate-glass windows on the ground floor with great displays (incongruous though they were because they hawked their wares to nothing more than a giant sea of asphalt in Orlando's case). The very small mall had large windows letting in the sun near the ceiling and plenty of room for strolling in the ersatz colonial appointments.

 

From its very beginning, Fashion Square was the antithesis of a destination - it was hooked on to a free-standing Sears (which was itself not much of a Sears because the area executive for the chain chose to divide his store budget on several small, functional stores across central Florida instead of a "trophy" store like the multi-story version built about the same time in downtown Jacksonville). Developer Leonard Farber built it as cheaply as he could and as fast as possible (he wanted to open before Edward DeBartolo's Altamonte Mall and the South Mall expansion of Colonial Plaza).

 

He succeeded on both counts: the mall, which had no welcoming front entrance and resembled nothing so much as a giant, dark catacombs, succeeded mostly because it did bring a number of trendy new chains to the area. Unfortunately, in the grips of the 1970's bean-counting that would change retail forever, the new Burdines had cramped aisles and employees recruited from the high-school ranks rather than sales professionals. The 1988 makeover went some way to relieve the mall's worst shortcomings, but it never was a landmark to be proud of.

 

It also was constructed in what is perhaps the worst era of municipal planning in American history. Acre upon acre of asphalt prohibiting any sort of pedestrian access: in a truly ridiculous move, when a grant was made available for the construction of a peoplemover by the Feds and FDOT for Florida cities, Mayor Carl Langford proposed connecting Colonial Plaza, Fashion Square and Gold Triangle (today's Target across Maguire) and howls of derision went up not only from planners but from just about anyone who read about it (the money ended up going to downtown Jacksonville).

 

I guess it's because it is what people grew up with, but it's time to recognize it for the failure it is and has been for years. It simply cannot be fixed without totally reworking the area. GOAA has already signaled it has no intention of diverting resources to anything but the same mess it originally created, and the new owner of Fashion Square, whose background is in big box construction, did what developers always do when they want to divert attention from their real intent: announce a hotel that will probably never see the light of day.

 

It probably wouldn't matter and the area could wander along as it has for most of the last 20 years, simply existing in an inevitable decline (the mirror image of East Colonial, the West Oaks area, which followed the same awful planning mode 15 years after Fashion Square - do we ever learn?, is going the same way), but you can have big box retail at Fashion Square according to a 1970's paradigm or you can select a modern, pedestrian-friendly 21st century model based upon the grid just to the west. A downtown without retail is just an urban theme park.

 

You can't have both - in an age of online shopping, redundant brick and mortar shopping, if it ever did, will no longer fly (can you imagine there was once a Gap in both OFS and Colonial Plaza? not to mention a Sears both downtown and the store you see today from 1962-74). As of today, the acres of asphalt are winning.

Edited by spenser1058
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Now, The Business Journal shows that Simon has confirmed Saks' closing. Redeveloping it would be better for the mall, but it's sad to see Saks leave. Although, it wasn't a great store and a store so large on one level is just kind of awkward. 

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I just don't see Simon letting this destination mall slip into the humdrum realm of regional mall, not when two of their most profitable retail centers sit in the same market. The Florida Mall probably has some of the best visibility of any mall in Central Florida. Great visibility with a well known name in a profitable market. With all that going for it I think it'd be insane not to double down on efforts to update the mall. Hopefully these closures mean more outdoor space is added. I love walking up to the old area where L&T used to be.

Edited by klstorey

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78897837.jpg

 

Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Saks at Florida Mall will be transformed into a new food court. 

 

"Florida Mall plans to move its food court tenants into much of the 105,000-square-foot space. It will seat about 1,400 people, double the food court's capacity now. Customers will choose from a variety of seating, including high-top tables and couches. Large windows and skylights will let in natural light, and there will be an outdoor patio.

"It's going to be a very impressive space for people to gather," mall manager Brian Hanson said.

It's also meant to be a prominent entry into the mall.

Hanson described the project as a "multimillion dollar investment" but would not be more specific.

Some current food court tenants could end up closing as new ones sign leases. The mall is not ready to announce new eateries, but Hanson said some will serve healthier fare.

New retailers are expected to open adjacent to the food pavilion and in the food court space that will be vacated."

The article goes on to talk about the L&T transformation into the outdoor center it is now.  

"This fall, American Girl will open in that outdoor center. Zara also is tripling its space, moving into a 30,000-square-foot store."

I actually ate the Florida Mall food court yesterday.  It isn't the nicest food court but the TVs are nice touch. While eating lunch (Five Guys) I had a conversation with the person I was with about how I wish they would replace the skylights with ones that bring in more light.

They've also installed a MASSIVE video screen above the Pinkberry/Wasabi space in the middle of the mall. It has to be the largest screen I've ever seen in a retail setting. 

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It appears that, not unlike was the case with Lord & Taylor, the demise of Saks has more to do with the chain itself than with Florida Mall. I note that even a major store in a major market like the Dallas Galleria is closing (interesting story there: it's being replaced by one of the Belk "Flagship" stores - Belk's history is as the dowdy competitor to Ivey's not only in hometown Charlotte but also here in Orlando - it will be interesting to see if Belk can serve both upscale and downscale customers while using the same signage and whether we might see one of the Flagship stores in the Orlando market somewhere.)

 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/07/the-end-of-saks-fifth-avenue-as-we-knew-it.html

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/retail/20130129-galleria-dallas-is-losing-saks-and-gaining-belk.ece

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It appears that, not unlike was the case with Lord & Taylor, the demise of Saks has more to do with the chain itself than with Florida Mall. I note that even a major store in a major market like the Dallas Galleria is closing (interesting story there: it's being replaced by one of the Belk "Flagship" stores - Belk's history is as the dowdy competitor to Ivey's not only in hometown Charlotte but also here in Orlando - it will be interesting to see if Belk can serve both upscale and downscale customers while using the same signage and whether we might see one of the Flagship stores in the Orlando market somewhere.)

 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/07/the-end-of-saks-fifth-avenue-as-we-knew-it.html

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/retail/20130129-galleria-dallas-is-losing-saks-and-gaining-belk.ece

I think that Saks closing had a lot to do with Florida Mall. It's not attracting high end customers like Millenia is. It's an extremely profitable mall, but even Nordstrom at Florida Mall at 170,000 square feet actually has less items for sale than the 80,000 square foot store in Naples. However, with Saks as a company I do agree that there is absolutely no way whatsoever that they would open a new store in Orlando at this point in time. However, if Nordstrom got tired of Florida Mall then they would probably move somewhere else, though Saks wouldn't 

 

The Belk flagship store in Charlotte is very nice. They sell St John, Theory, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Before Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and the mall expanded, they sold Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Ferragamo, etc, however, they don't sell those brands anymore. It's easily just as good as the Macy's at Millenia, which is a very nice Macy's. These stores don't really appeal to the downscale customers very much, and in SouthPark's case, they hide the low end stuff upstairs. If Nordstrom at Florida Mall closed, I could see them opening a flagship Belk or a Von Maur in it's place. 

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Looks like Gap is combining their stores together at Millenia into one (Gap/Gap Kids/Baby Gap) and is opening an Athleta store in the former Kids store. 

 

I wonder what they will do with the food court at Florida Mall now. Also, if Zara is expanding to 30,000 square feet, maybe they are putting Zara there? 

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Looks like Gap is combining their stores together at Millenia into one (Gap/Gap Kids/Baby Gap) and is opening an Athleta store in the former Kids store. 

 

I wonder what they will do with the food court at Florida Mall now. Also, if Zara is expanding to 30,000 square feet, maybe they are putting Zara there? 

The Zara is most likely staying in the lifestyle area. There is a new building under construction in the empty space next to the H&M and the ads on the construction fence surrounding the site are of the American Girl and Zara.   

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David Yurman moved to the space next to Saint Laurent that has been empty for years. Mac has moved into one of the spaces between Crate and Barrel & Bloomingdale's. I'm guessing that Rolex will move to the David Yurman space for Louis Vuitton to expand. 

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Millenia is just too successful as a high end center to share it with Nordstrom. Florida Mall is successful, but never as a high end center. I wonder what they will do now. I believe Orlando will now be the largest city without a Nordstrom. 

 

 

I was actually a little surprised to hear this. I always assumed they would try to secure space at Millenia before closing at Florida Mall. 

 

Edit: 

 

"A spokesman for mall owner Simon Property said in response to a reporter's questions that two new anchor stores have already signed leases for the space being vacated by Nordstrom, but didn't identify the new tenants."

 

Orlando Sentinel

 

I suppose it will be like the former Lord & Taylor. 

Edited by 101_ce

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I've been to the flagship store in downtown Seattle. That sort of thing would be very nice in downtown Orlando. 

 

Oh, don't tease me like that! The downtown Seattle store is indeed wonderful (interestingly, it was built for another retailer).

 

A more cautionary tale, however, may be found when Nordstrom chose to close its downtown Indy store, in the wake of a second location it had opened in the 'burbs:

 

http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/news/print_highlights/article_72c83872-8d2d-11e0-9601-001cc4c03286.html

 

Indy is famous for leading the way in downtown redevelopment starting with Republican Mayor Bill Hudnut, but as the article shows there's been some challenges. Sound familiar?

 

 

"Indianapolis' mayors have been, in my view, bungling when it comes to working with retailers. Our mayors can attract industrial, service and biotech businesses to Indy, but they're inept working with retailers. Other than Circle Centre, name one major retail revitalization project created or championed by our mayors?

It doesn't help that mayoral advisers never come from the ranks of those who've run retail stores for a living. You can't help an industry if there's nobody on your team who understands them."

Edited by spenser1058

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Four rumors that I've heard, none substantive, just for the sake of discussion:

 

(1) Nordstrom may follow the path of Brooks Brothers (which left FL Mall and moved to Millenia a couple of years later when space opened up) and wait for space to become available in a future expansion;

 

(2) Disney Springs said there would be famous retailers included. Would they finally decide to include a department store like Nordstrom?

 

(3) Nordstrom's solid and "less blingy" reputation would work well in Seminole County, whose demographics (in income, educational level,  etc.), are all somewhat higher than Orange's, and yet they don't have an upscale department store to date.

 

(4) A Nordstrom could work in the redo of the shopping center at 17-92 and Lee Road in Winter Park, which also has income levels to support it and whose retail is finally working to catch up.

 

One intriguing thing to me as Nordstrom pulled out of FL Mall (Simon) is that they are about to open a store in October at St Johns Town Center in Jacksonville (also Simon). Jax has been lagging in retail for decades (it's the largest MSA without a Macy's), but yet here is Nordstrom going in. Again, I think the demographics are right for this and the fact both properties belong to Simon suggests some horse-trading and the potential for a future return to the Orlando market by Nordstrom.

 

It's interesting that I'm both a Nordstrom and Brooks Brothers shopper and both abandoned FL Mall, while BB reappeared in Millenia and SJTC and now here's Nordstrom at SJTC as well. I was grateful for BB's move, as I've never liked Florida Mall. It's hard to get to, navigating the parking lot is an adventure in hell and, once you do get inside, it's much too spread out. 

 

Let me emphasize all of this goes under pure speculation, so just have some fun with it and please don't shoot the messenger! 

Edited by spenser1058

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This also may sound a bit over the top, but what about the new mega-development proposal on the corner of I-Drive and Kirkman? In their latest announcement, their retail square footage increased from 160,000 to 420,000 sq ft. Anyway, Nordstrom will certainly reappear in the Orlando market, it's just a matter of when and where. 

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They have a Nordstrom Rack near Millenia, maybe they'll just revamp that location.  Millenia can't have another expansion, the City has already said the current roadway network can't handle the traffic.  Its interesting that Florida Mall now has the same anchors as Fashion Square.

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Nordstrom is not an international brand. Tourists that go to FL Mall know more about Saks.

Saks has exited the market and plans not to return under its new Canadian ownership

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