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So he is leaving town because of their failure?

 

Anyways, I dont like hearing that Downtown Cleveland cant support retail, and that we need more residents. Can we just admit that Dredgers Union kind of, well, sucked? I mean half of us on here who want to go out of our way to support these type of places didn't like the place. I went in their several times with my girlfriend, looking to support them but always walked out with nothing.

 

If you take all the retailers that are located in Crocker Park, place them in one location downtown, I would guarantee it would be just as successful, if not more, than Crocker Park.

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DU didn't work because the space was too big, i.e. the rent was too high in relation to the amount of product, which in turn impacts the amount of product you can replace the items sold, and in time it becomes an unsustainable situation.  Pretty simple really.

Lessons were learned by all sides in this story and hopefully it pans out for everyone in the end.  Simply saying something that people put their blood and sweat into "sucks" in a public forum is unproductive and not really condusive to other entrepenuers sticking their neck out on the line for this City and shows that you're, well, kinda a pr*ck.

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DU didn't work because the space was too big, i.e. the rent was too high in relation to the amount of product, which in turn impacts the amount of product you can replace the items sold, and in time it becomes an unsustainable situation.  Pretty simple really.

Lessons were learned by all sides in this story and hopefully it pans out for everyone in the end.  Simply saying something that people put their blood and sweat into "sucks" in a public forum is unproductive and not really condusive to other entrepenuers sticking their neck out on the line for this City and shows that you're, well, kinda a pr*ck.

 

I had always hoped that they would do well. I tried to support them, but didnt like the place, but went back several times. Sorry that it is my opinion that the place wasnt the best, and its not that Downtown Cleveland cant support retail, like the article suggests, it closed because that place in general was not good, IMO, and apparently others since the place is closing. It was overpriced, selling products for double the price you could find elsewhere, and apparently not good on sizing as well.

 

No need for personal attacks, so chill out.

 

People put a lot of their blood and sweat into Crocker Park and Legacy Village. And they are constantly getting ripped on, on this website. There is no difference.

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From what I've read on here, the staff was rude and indifferent. If true, it serves them right.

 

Also, according to the article, the store was 4,500 sq. feet. That's a huge space. If we want bustling retail downtown, we need smaller retail spaces--then we could have a whole bunch of interesting shops -- Think East Village in New York----instead of 300-400 sq foot shops if you had dredger-sized spaces, the streetlife would be completely dead.

 

We need SMALLER retail. I know, landlords like big spaces--less headaches due to few tenants. But if we want vibrant retail, we need small spaces. For example, look at  VOLKS and Mike the Hatter that are soon to be wiped out. those are little shops. If they were 10-15 times bigger, they never would have lasted.

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Ultimately I think it was the location, pricing and selection that was the down fall.

 

No one could see it passing by on Euclid or Prospect.

 

Pricing was high, which may have worked if there was other high end retail down there already and would have drawn that crowd.

 

Finally, as other posters and I have mentioned there just wasn't enough different product or even different sizes to draw everybody.

 

That's the kind of store I think would survive in Downtown Cleveland right now, a retail store where everybody can find something for a decent price.

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It just wasn't a good fit, no pun intended. I think there is definitely retail that could thrive there, but that wasn't it. Sorry.

 

Yup. I guarantee put an H&M there and it'd be packed. Whenever I was down there even during games and events when East Fourth was packed the store would be practically empty.

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IMO, if retail is going to work downtown they cannot target the crowd that DU did.  It is too small of a demographic in CLE, especially at those prices.

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From what I've read on here, the staff was rude and indifferent. If true, it serves them right.

 

 

Not true at all based on the many times I've been there.

 

[edit: I'm sure you're confusing DU with CLE Clothing Co...again, I've experienced friendly service there as well. I think the owners got several complaints when they first opened]

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I went in to DU once in October 2011. I didn't see anything I wanted or needed, so I haven't been back. I also remember looking for someone to answer a question and no one appeared for a long time. 

 

But I have been to Target at Steelyard Commons several times since then to do some clothes and shoe shopping, and each time dropping a couple hundred bucks. I would also buy from a Target if they located downtown. I regularly shop at the downtown Radio Shack and in the CVS in the City Club Building. I would love it if a Staples or Office Max were downtown, though. It's totally bizarre that there isn't one downtown.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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You drop a couple of hundred at target but how many THINGS do you come out with. You could have gotten like 1 or 2 things at DU for that. Whereas if I were given $200 to go clothes shopping at target, I would probably get like 6 or 8 things.

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You drop a couple of hundred at target but how many THINGS do you come out with. You could have gotten like 1 or 2 things at DU for that. Whereas if I were given $200 to go clothes shopping at target, I would probably get like 6 or 8 things.

 

Exactly. In one trip to Target on Wednesday, I bought three pairs of pants, one pair of shorts, a dress shirt, a t-shirt, 12 pairs of socks, 12 pairs of underwear, pair of loafers and then I also got a few grocery items -- all for about $200.

 

Not only did DU not have anything in the styles or types of clothing I wanted, but I recall one sweatshirt that was close to what I wanted was listed at about $45-$50. No thanks.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Well, if we follow this line of thinking, there is no reason to ever have luxury retail ever.  Not saying that's what you believe, but yes, some places a shirt is going to cost $100.  It's not competing with Target for your retail dollars, really, because if what you wanted was to get all you got for under $200, you were never in that market.  A better question is if the $100 shirt was of the appropriate quality to compete with other $100 shirts.

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That's faulty reasoning. You can't draw a line from what we're aruging to that conclusion, surely. I never said there is no reason for luxury retail. There's PLENTY of luxury retail in beachwood and from my trip to the mall there a couple of weeks ago, where Nordie's was PACKED, plenty of shoppers for it. I think this particular location does not lend itself to that. You are free to disagree with that, though the lone example of it going down bears out my argument pretty well.

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Or fine dining.  How many Potbelly sandwiches could I get for one anniversary dinner at Red? ;)  This is a region with a thriving Saks.  Even in around here some people are willing to spend $ on clothes. Clearly DU didn't work. Doesn't change the fact that even in Greater Cleveland not everyone shops at Target.  Not sure why we have to go in circles on this.

 

EDIT: I posted before I saw you narrow your comment to be about location.  Which I think you're right about.

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I can attest that I've spent thousands of dollars at DU and never had an issue with any of the clothing or housewares that I've purchased there. The service was ALWAYS impeccable...strange that there were other reports. The only $200 items I ever saw there were jackets/coats. Even women's dresses were $150 or less. The average T shirts were $25-50 depending on the detailing of them, not $100. The only issue I ever had there was finding smalls as they sold out so quickly and did not replenish them fast enough. The store is not for everyone...luxury clothing is not for everyone, but what people are stating on here is completely different than the reality. I've been in this store 50+ times since they had the soft opening. I do believe the timing is off and it probably would have done better in Beachwood...but I for one am glad that I did not have to drive all the way out there.

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I think that in the Cleveland market there is a market for people who want to spend $50-$100 or much more on a single article of clothing. That said that market does its shopping on the East side suburbs. Dredgers Union was an island of upscale shopping and there is not enough of a critical mass of luxury shopping downtown to attract that luxury shopper away from the region's largest concentration of it... along I-271.

 

As I mentioned before I think a middle market store that sells shirts for $20 to $50 and has a wider variety of things catering to a wider range of people would be most successful. DU's market was too limited for the realities of downtown right now.

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My point in all this is my concern that media is calling DU's failure as a referendum on downtown's ability to be a "retail" destination. If downtown offered retailers of general interest -- like a Target -- then I think we could call that a referendum. So I just have a problem with a specialty retailer being used as THE measuring stick. That's all.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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My guess would be Maron & Co. made the rounds and asked everyone to pay more in monthly rent. I am sure most agreements were tied to a timing that ended right around when the casino opened. At least if they were smart, this is what I would do.  The justification is there since most everyone likely saw a boost in business. Most could afford it, DU evidently could not.

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Location, location, location.  Perhaps not the best example, but you would almost never see an Urban Outfitters store where car and foot traffic are significant.

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Ok, I really, really hate to say I told you so, because I hate to see a local business close, but all those people who were poo-pooing me as out of touch fashion-wise, too fat to wear the clothes, too cheap to buy the clothes, anti-Cleveland and whatever else was said for me saying I thought Dredger's Union was not going to work long-term, I think perhaps those folks owe me an apology:

 

Dredgers Union store closing on East 4th Street, after year of testing retail in downtown Cleveland

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Fourteen months after opening a clothing store on East Fourth Street, two local entrepreneurs have decided to shut the doors at Dredgers Union, their attempt to revive downtown Cleveland's retail scene.

 

Read more: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/08/dredgers_union_store_closing_o.html

Where is the outrage from people on this site to this amaingly arrogant post? Here we have people who have put their blood, sweat and tears not to mention money and passion into giving Cleveland a little bit of sophistication for their clothing options and now have to close their doors and this person who is actually a Mod on this forum wants an apology because she anticipated their demise? I mean WTF? Just flipping amazing...so disgusting. I wonder how the people over at Drudgers feel or for that matter any person out there that is actually putting their lives on the line to make Cleveland a great city again.

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I think the melodramatics are unnecessary - I'm sure rockandroller was making a rhetorical comment based on the flak she got for posting comments about her visits. There's nothing wrong with sharing less-than-stellar experiences; not everything at DU was my cup of tea, and a few times the sales team completely ignored me - there were also times where I was 100% happy with everything from the service to what they were selling that day. No one here was ever hoping the store wouldn't succeed, and I think it's as Danielle said "It's just that, sometimes, those that are at the front end are the ones that are the casualties. The ones that pay the price while opening up things for other people." I truly hope they're able and willing to make another go of it in Cleveland.

 

For those saying they can go to Target and get 6 to 8 items for the 1 or 2 they'd get at DU - keep in mind what you bought at Target was likely made in China (or increasingly, a lesser developed country where labor is more cheaply procured and materials not as scrutinized), trucked to a Chinese port city, shipped to the West Coast, trucked to a distribution center in Ohio and finally to the shelf where you picked it up. Think of the fuel that was used - and then look at gas prices at your next fill-up (and of course, the environmental impact of shipping items thousands of miles). I fully admit I shop at the big box stores as a necessary evil, but I go out of my way to find 'Made in the USA'. I also know money's too tight to mention, but cheap on the price tag doesn't mean we don't pay for it in other ways - just sayin'.

 

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I get the impression that most feel DU's failure portends negatively toward downtown retail.  I disagree.  DU was local.  Was it advertized?  What was it's retail mix?  Was it a good rby location to attract foot traffic?  What other nearby retail existed?  Did it sell products that people actually wanted to purchase or was it trying to create demand?

 

Even here in NYC, local stores come and go with great regularity.  A boutique that opens on June 1 may be gone by September 1.  CLE is no different.

 

A resurgence of retail in downtown CLE will begin at TC with the usual chains and spread outward.  Most people want familiarity with what they buy.  I was never at DU but from what i read on here the retail mix might have been too unique or skewed to a certain age group.  And of course, this begs the question:  Did the people who ran DU know what they were doing?

 

Retail will come back and there will be failures and successes.....just as in every city.

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I stopped at DU today hoping to get some good deals since they just announced the closing sale yesterday, but the place was already crazy empty.  They must've stopped stocking a while ago, cause there no way they sold THAT much in 24 hours.

 

There were two new entrepreneurs on E. 4th today though!  Two little kids were set up outside Greenhouse Tavern with a panini press making and selling grilled cheese.  It was pretty darn adorable.

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I get the impression that most feel DU's failure portends negatively toward downtown retail.  I disagree.  DU was local.  Was it advertized?  What was it's retail mix?  Was it a good rby location to attract foot traffic?  What other nearby retail existed?  Did it sell products that people actually wanted to purchase or was it trying to create demand?

 

Even here in NYC, local stores come and go with great regularity.  A boutique that opens on June 1 may be gone by September 1.  CLE is no different.

 

A resurgence of retail in downtown CLE will begin at TC with the usual chains and spread outward.  Most people want familiarity with what they buy.  I was never at DU but from what i read on here the retail mix might have been too unique or skewed to a certain age group.  And of course, this begs the question:  Did the people who ran DU know what they were doing?

 

Retail will come back and there will be failures and successes.....just as in every city.

 

Agreed that people forget that stores open and close with regularity in every city for every reason. As far as what didn't work, I think that's along the lines of "what's the best place for pizza in town?" - you'll never get the same answer, and everyone has their own agenda/opinion. I can say this much - they did a lot of things right; they advertised (print, online, social media, special events), had a lot of great products (some might say it was on the pricey side - I think some items were, but not all), and the space itself looked fantastic and set a standard for those who might open a comparable store in the future. The sales people who *did* have a good grasp of customer service (in my mind, is a dying art) were great and I hope they do well.

 

"Did the people who ran DU know what they were doing?"

 

I don't think that question is "begged" at all (see above) - I just think there were a lot of factors weighing against them; it's easy for anyone to second-guess.

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Regarding DU - am I remembering incorrectly that the reports were this store was doing OK (even better than expected) - so much so that many of us on this board thought they were expanding next door? Wonder what happened...? Or wonder if this potential restaurant tenant that already seems likely for the space (Melt?) was interested enough in space that a gut-check was done of DU by the Marons - and they chose to fold rather than continue.

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A personal regret is that Danielle DeBoe's dream for DU died...This woman has such a positive upbeat view of Cleveland, you wanted to see her succeed (and us, as a city, too)... But based on her comments, she hasn't given up on downtown; look for her to bounce back.  I feared this may happen.  I think DeBoe and partner bit off more than they could chew -- way too big of space in the hottest section of downtown.  A small energetic retailer like DeBoe, though her heart was in the right place, simply could not put on a Super(wo)man cape and save downtown retail all by herself --- although, I gather that's what she fancied herself doing per her comments on cle.com yesterday... I bought a few items there, but there was never more than a trickle of customers when I went; usually on prime time Saturdays... And let’s face it, this trendy, expensive no-(recognizable) name brand store sits like an island dead in the middle of the City’s densest, most popular food district which, btw, is pedestrian dependent, surrounded by restaurants and is away from passing auto traffic – people don’t the place and mainly only experience after having parked their car (or caught transit like me, often) on their way to someplace else (either to a restaurant, or an Indians or Cavs game).  The Made in CLE store has the best of both worlds, at the entrance of E. 4th, but also on Euclid, in a tiny, intimate space (can you say MUCH LOWER RENT!).  The CLE clothing space, and limited line of cheaper items, probably would have been the better choice for DeBoe.  Her Room Service in Ohio City is more on the CLE scale, and in a cheaper neighborhood on top of that.

 

I'm sure the Maron's did all they could to help them survive, but DU couldn't be saved. 

 

The cold fact is that retail inside Cleveland's borders is about the worst of any comparable city.  Cincy's stronger.  Pittsburgh's got a Macy's and the high-end shops at Shadyside.  KC's Country Club Plaza blows away anything we have in Cleveland's borders (and all 3 are SMALLER metro areas than Cleveland) ... I don't say this to sulk, to hopefully pressure our leaders to demand more.  A metro city of our diversity, wealth, culture and history deserves a more sophisticated retail in town than what we have.  Yes, we can gripe that the suburban malls (and lifestyle centers) have killed downtown retail, but that shouldn't fly anymore.  We've sat on our hands and spun this excuse for far too long, and it's kept our in-town retail in the dark ages; we're little better than Detroit in this sense (and that's truly scary)...  If anything, the recent success of downtown's residential growth, the restaurant surge, the casino and, soon, the medical mart convention center have shown that our populace collectively believes in our downtown. 

 

The loss of DU is a bummer to everyone, but really isn't any kind of negative statement on downtown's long-term retail viability.  Those who want to make it so, to be kind, probably didn’t have Cleveland’s best interest at heart to begin with.  DU was simply the wrong store in the wrong place.    Hopefully our forward-thinking movers and shakers, like DeBoe and Ari Maron, can learn from this mistake, and move on to jump start our retail in a better-planned approach the next time.

 

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Guys, it's just a store closing. This shouldn't be that big a deal to anyone beyond the owner and employees, and it seems she has quite a bit on her plate as it is. It's also not a reflection of Cleveland's retail scene, as evident with there still being some quality stores in Tower City. It's not like Trader Joes or Macy's is using this closing as justification for not having a downtown prescense.

 

Stop all this over-dramatization. You'd think the Cleveland Clinic was closing.

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I'm not surprised DU closed. they had a whole host of problems: their clothes were too expensive, the location was awkward (the crowd coming from bars and baseball games around that area are probably not looking at buying $200 sundresses), the space was massive, etc.

 

to be honest, I don't even know where a store like that would do well. I couldn't see a boutique of that sort doing well... anywhere in Greater Cleveland. if they downsized it and moved it to, say, Gordon Square or Ohio City and lowered prices they'd do OK. but they kind of came in the wrong way.

 

sad that this is the store that's closing and not CLE, since DU's staff was really nice and CLE's was...  :wtf:

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I'm not surprised DU closed. they had a whole host of problems: their clothes were too expensive, the location was awkward (the crowd coming from bars and baseball games around that area are probably not looking at buying $200 sundresses), the space was massive, etc.

 

to be honest, I don't even know where a store like that would do well. I couldn't see a boutique of that sort doing well... anywhere in Greater Cleveland. if they downsized it and moved it to, say, Gordon Square or Ohio City and lowered prices they'd do OK. but they kind of came in the wrong way.

 

sad that this is the store that's closing and not CLE, since DU's staff was really nice and CLE's was...  :wtf:

 

Actually, DeBoe started off in Gordon Square w/ Room Service, then relocated to W. 25 in Ohio City, where she still is.  She's said she wants to try again in downtown and I believe her.  Her next project is going to be marketing bridal stuff, but I'm don't recall where she's going to have it, or if it isn't just going to be online for now.  She moved downtown around the corner from DU...

 

I'm hoping that Dan Gilbert's possible purchase of the Avenue at Tower City may open up retail possibilities.  Phase II of the Horsehoe, I thought was supposed to have a retail component.  Only problem is this will still pull retail away from Lower Euclid where it used to be and where most people want it to be.

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Attached is the most updated version of my "Cleveland Retail Gaps" - detailing key retailers (mid, high, trendy, etc...) not in CLE, but in enough key markets, larger and smaller, to question why they're not yet in CLE. 

 

Market size isn't everything, but it's sure a key part of how retailers decide...  Chief offenders are IKEA (in 24 of top 26 markets), Tiffany (not yet officially announced for CLE, but in 31 of top 32 markets), REI (in 23 of top 27 markets),  free-standing Vuitton (in 24 of top 25) and so on...

 

Stores are announced, open, close all the time - so let's consider this 98% accurate, based on my review of the retailers' websites, news articles, etc..

 

This time around, I've made notes on several retailers that have either previously announced their intention to open in CLE, but never did, are known to be looking, etc... Not included are other brands/restaurants that have substantially fewer stores, but growing (Athleta, opening at Beachwood Place soon.. Cooper's Hawk restaurant, looking in CLE, but still small...) - or are only in the top markets (Cartier)

 

Enjoy...

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Yes - Athleta - saw it on their leasing plan last week. Now up as opening in Fall on Athleta site/via press release from company. Appears to be taking half space of former Sony Style, maybe more.

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80 applicants?? I know this story has been posted elsewhere, but I can't remember/find where. But it works here....

 

Retailers are buying into a popup concept in the old Slovenian neighborhood

Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 11:09 AM    Updated: Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 9:34 PM

  By Robert L. Smith, The Plain Dealer

 

More than 80 aspiring merchants have applied to be part of a popup neighborhood along St. Clair Avenue on Cleveland's east side, including hopeful proprietors of a cafe, a confectionery, an interior design firm and a dance studio.

 

Project leaders are now winnowing the list to a "retail ready" 10 or 12 prospects, who this week will be matched with the artists who will help to design their new shops.

 

A simultaneous grand opening, planned for late September or early October, would create an instant retail district along a lonely stretch of St. Clair that long anchored the old Slovenian neighborhood.

 

"The response has been great," said Michael Fleming, executive director of St. Clair Superior Development Corp.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/09/retailers_are_buying_into_a_po.html


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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It says they would like to repeat this project in coming years.  I hope that means moving it around to different parts of the city, and not just changing the businesses.  I can think of some sections of Lorain, Clark, Buckeye, or St. Clair where this would be appropriate, too.

 

Also, maybe they should talk to the guy trying to re-retail the Colonial Arcade.  There seems like some overlap in potential business owners that might work in each of these projects.

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Microsoft to open pop-up store at Beachwood Place this fall

 

BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- Microsoft has announced plans to open 32 pop-up stores in the United States and Canada this fall, including a store at Beachwood Place mall -- its only Ohio location.

 

 

"These holiday stores will allow customers to have hands-on experience with and identify the best Microsoft products for their personal and gift-giving needs," a Microsoft spokeswoman said via email.

 

She declined to say how big the store would be or when the store would open, saying that more details would be unveiled in coming weeks.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/09/microsoft_to_open_pop-up_store.html#incart_river_default

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^

Awesome! Microsoft will be releasing their new Surface tablet PCs (www.surface.com) this fall and into next year, and I'm pretty intent on getting one. Due to wanting to mitigate any hurt feelings over MS making their own hardware the Microsoft stores will be the only physical stores you can try out and purchase them.  Additonally, Microsoft stores sell the "Signature Edition" PCs (computer minus the crapware from the manufacturer right out of the box).

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Cash Mob Looks to Save Local Girl Gallery from Closing

 

The goal of the event, scheduled for Sept. 22, is to raise money to keep the doors from closing at the popular art gallery on Detroit Avenue.

 

By Colin McEwen

 

A group of citizens are getting together with the goal to keep the Local Girl Gallery from closing.

 

Artists, friends and customers will assemble to shop at the Detroit Avenue gallery for a planned “flash mob" on Sept. 22.

 

“Fans of the gallery were alarmed when owner Linda Goik announced earlier this month that the gallery would be closing by end of September,” said co-organizer Jeanine Gergel in an email.

 

“Many of us asked what could be done to save it. The answer: The gallery simply needs more business. If you love Local Girl, this is your chance to help keep it alive.”

 

http://lakewood-oh.patch.com/articles/cash-mob-looks-to-save-local-girl-gallery-from-closing

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In other Microsoft Store news, Cincinnati is getting a "real" MS store, not just a pop-up one like CLE.... The list goes on....

 

What's Columbus getting?

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FCE is in a waiting mode when it comes to Tower City. Essentially what they say is needed is a larger residential population. They really want to see Casino Phase II built to see how traffic to the mall is. That said don't be surprised if you see upscale outlet stores down there at some point.

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^So basically all our months of discussion in various threads relating to how the casino was going to spark this great renaissance of retail downtown, primarily in Tower City, was just us playing SimCity.  Of course any would have thought it was a natural out growth but so far nothing concrete or even planned for the near or even distance future.  We do have some nice new parking however.

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