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Disagree that "REAL name brands" would have any appeal downtown when they are already so well represented in the burbs at Kohl's or JCPenney (2 companies struggling in retail in their own right), places I personally would never step foot in.

In the end Downtown Cleveland doesn't deserve this kind of store at this point in time.  DeBoe and Biloveky, two of the only people that have the talent and guts to do it here, took a chance on Downtown and the region supporting local retail, it didn't work out.  Hopefully it will for the next guy...

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Austin has The Domain - which is Legacy/Crocker-like suburban lifestyle center - and features similar upscale retailers - so even urban hip/trendy Austinites like these types of developments.

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Disagree that "REAL name brands" would have any appeal downtown when they are already so well represented in the burbs at Kohl's or JCPenney (2 companies struggling in retail in their own right), places I personally would never step foot in.

In the end Downtown Cleveland doesn't deserve this kind of store at this point in time.  DeBoe and Biloveky, two of the only people that have the talent and guts to do it here, took a chance on Downtown and the region supporting local retail, it didn't work out.  Hopefully it will for the next guy...

 

The fact that you would "never step foot" in those stores is clouding your view. Those stores obviously aren't for you. Yes, name brands are needed downtown. Yes, name brands are probably the only form of retail that would work downtown currently. And even those would likely have to be subsidized in order to make the numbers work. If you think a store like DU is what will work as the ANCHOR of downtown retail, you're kidding yourself. It can work, but not alone. It needs those big name brands downtown not order to have any customer base to target. Period. You can dispute it all day long but the facts don't lie. DU is closing unfortunately. But, as the old saying goes, I'd bet you a dollar to a bucket of s*** that had this been a subsidized Hollister, it would still be there. It's not about whether you would set footings some of these stores. It's about the general public.

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Yes.  It seems whenever we get clothing retail downtown, it is all by itself.  Think of the stores that have come and gone in the warehouse district over the years, most recently the jeans/lounge place. 

 

I really do hope that a district emerges where these places have a chance, but likely it would need to start with places that have more mass appeal than D.U. had. 

 

I shopped a few times at DU, and would agree primarily with the sizing issues and selection.  I really liked the store and wanted to see it work, but in the end there was only so much I could actually buy that would fit.

 

Also, I think we can't discount what retail we do have downtown.  There is a Brooks Brothers, Victoria's Secret, Champs Sports, Gamestop, Footlocker, jewelry stores, discount shoe stores, local stores, etc. in Tower City.  Today there is retail right in the center of the city where you can in fact buy name brand shoes, undershirts, underwear, socks, shirts, a suit, etc.  Is it what it can be or once was?  no.  but it isn't like there isn't some significant retail that still exists at Tower City.  We basically have a flagship Brooks Brothers store right on public square.

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Austin has The Domain - which is Legacy/Crocker-like suburban lifestyle center - and features similar upscale retailers - so even urban hip/trendy Austinites like these types of developments.

The Domain is 13 miles north of downtown Austin and caters to more of the Round Rock/Cedar Park/Pflugerville crowd. Not all of Austin is trendy and urban friendly...I would actually say quite the contrary. It is very sprawl oriented, but leaders decided they needed a large population base downtown and made it happen.  All of these comments though are more for the retail thread as opposed to 4th St Developments.

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Yes.  It seems whenever we get clothing retail downtown, it is all by itself.  Think of the stores that have come and gone in the warehouse district over the years, most recently the jeans/lounge place. 

 

I really do hope that a district emerges where these places have a chance, but likely it would need to start with places that have more mass appeal than D.U. had. 

 

I shopped a few times at DU, and would agree primarily with the sizing issues and selection.  I really liked the store and wanted to see it work, but in the end there was only so much I could actually buy that would fit.

 

Also, I think we can't discount what retail we do have downtown.  There is a Brooks Brothers, Victoria's Secret, Champs Sports, Gamestop, Footlocker, jewelry stores, discount shoe stores, local stores, etc. in Tower City.  Today there is retail right in the center of the city where you can in fact buy name brand shoes, undershirts, underwear, socks, shirts, a suit, etc.  Is it what it can be or once was?  no.  but it isn't like there isn't some significant retail that still exists at Tower City.  We basically have a flagship Brooks Brothers store right on public square.

 

VERY good point about Tower City. I think many people here poo-poo TC because it's an underachiever, but we do have name brands in Tower City and they seem to do okay.

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I know this isnt the retail thread so I'll try to keep it to E4. It just bothers me the perceptions some have of downtown retail... Whether it be not wanting to pay to park, come downtown, etc... And It really bugs me that places such as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (nothing wrong with those places) have the retail that they do downtown without the downtown population we do, yet experts keep claiming we need a "critical mass of 20k-25k". You would think that the E4 area would be the place to do retail at this point downtown because of the energy and foot traffic it receives. Maybe it was just Dredgers and the type of store it was. I don't know. I just hope this isn't foreshadowing for the future of downtown retail.

 

Downtown Pittsburgh is worse off than we are. We have better restaurants, and more and better retail. Yes they have a heavily subsided Macys downtown that is not doing good, and doesnt look good, but that doesnt attract any other retail. Atleast we have Tower City, with some stores that Pittsburgh would love to have.

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^I was about to say R&R was right all along in the East 4th street thread when I noticed this post... We should probably continue all the related discussion here rather than in the 4th street thread.

 

I'm utterly depressed by this news.  Not just because of the loss of DU itself, but because of the precedent.

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I know this isnt the retail thread so I'll try to keep it to E4. It just bothers me the perceptions some have of downtown retail... Whether it be not wanting to pay to park, come downtown, etc... And It really bugs me that places such as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (nothing wrong with those places) have the retail that they do downtown without the downtown population we do, yet experts keep claiming we need a "critical mass of 20k-25k". You would think that the E4 area would be the place to do retail at this point downtown because of the energy and foot traffic it receives. Maybe it was just Dredgers and the type of store it was. I don't know. I just hope this isn't foreshadowing for the future of downtown retail.

 

Downtown Pittsburgh is worse off than we are. We have better restaurants, and more and better retail. Yes they have a heavily subsided Macys downtown that is not doing good, and doesnt look good, but that doesnt attract any other retail. Atleast we have Tower City, with some stores that Pittsburgh would love to have.

 

Yeah, I'm not sure why Pittsburgh's downtown gets so much credit.  I mean, I actually like Pittsburgh, and they have a very dense downtown with beautiful architecture.  But during off-hours, it's very dead and downright scary in some places.  Our downtown is night-and-day different and more lively than Pittsburgh's.  Now, Carson Street is a different story, and it would be great if we had something like Squirrel Hill in the city limits.

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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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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.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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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.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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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.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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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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