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Cleveland: Retail News

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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


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

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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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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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Basically. I said all along it wouldn't be this soon that we would see changes if any at TC because of the casino. If Phase 2 of the casino as well as the current casino do bring a sustained level of people to TC that's great, but a larger downtown population with discretionary income is what will really be a game changer for TC.

 

From what they implied the outlet idea has more legs on it than just some proposal.

 

Interesting thing is the Downtown Cleveland Alliance is trying to get outlets to Euclid Avenue.

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In regard to TC, it looks like City Leather which had been next to Victoria Secrets has moved to the old K-line space.  Not the greatest of openings, but it does put an open shop in a pretty large space which is a plus.  I would also think that their old space would be more attractive to a national brand than the new corner they are occupying, but that is just me speculating.

 

These new apartments that are supposed to be coming online can't get here soon enough.

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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.

 

Not clear what SimCity has to do with anything.  As for downtown population, cities with far less of that are able to do much more.  As for the casino serving as an anchor, it's still worth consideration, but there may not be that much overlap between casino traffic and shopping traffic.  Until TC can offer a competitive shopping experience, it probably can't expect to compete as a shopping center.

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^Not saying you're wrong, but interested in specifically what cities you're thinking about. Other things to consider are subsidies, daytime population etc.

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There are entire threads for that.  Point is, Cleveland leads the league in downtown population.  They're calling a key strength a deficiency and it's ludicrous.  The rent is too damn high. 

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If FCE wants to see a larger residential population, maybe they should put their money where their mouth is and build a couple residential towers... Like maybe a City of Towers like this-

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,13775.msg208808.html#msg208808

 

I also don't know that DCA is still pursuing the outlet store plan for Lower Euclid, just from conversations that I've had with certain people in that organization.  Maybe I should ask explicitly

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There are entire threads for that.  Point is, Cleveland leads the league in downtown population.  They're calling a key strength a deficiency and it's ludicrous.  The rent is too damn high. 

 

Its 'lead' is greatly (if not totally) diminished when you subtract the jail population and that portion of the population that does not have discretionary income.  Then, you have to consider the lack of residential population in the immediate vicinity of downtown..... even Toledo kicks our butt in that category.

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Is it your thesis that Cleveland's downtown population is low, vs comparable cities?  Most believe otherwise and consider it a major success story.  And most major cities have jails downtown.  And I've been to Toledo, recently.  I guess I'm just not following you.   

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I don't have a thesis and do consider it a success story.  I was simply pointing out that our population numbers are inflated by the jail and some forms of public assitance housing.  I was assuming that you were referring to the other C's when you said 'the league'..... maybe you should clarify what comparable cities you are referring to.  I don't think the population is 'low', but I do feel it is overstated quite often

 

With regard to Toledo, see the reply 203 on this page - http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25512.180.html

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Re post 203, I would direct you to 209. 

 

The league I referred to is larger than Ohio and yes somewhat nebulous.  But I'm trying to ascertain how disputable it is that Cleveland has a relatively high downtown population, since FCE apparently finds it so inadequate.  Expanding our consideration beyond downtown adds a lot of medium-to-affluent people with a direct rail link to the shopping center in question, which is a somewhat unique advantage for TC and for downtown Cleveland.  Bearing all this in mind, I feel compelled to reiterate that the rent's too damn high.

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I don't have a thesis and do consider it a success story.  I was simply pointing out that our population numbers are inflated by the jail and some forms of public assitance housing.  I was assuming that you were referring to the other C's when you said 'the league'..... maybe you should clarify what comparable cities you are referring to.  I don't think the population is 'low', but I do feel it is overstated quite often

 

With regard to Toledo, see the reply 203 on this page - http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25512.180.html

 

I agree. And somewhere on here I have broken these numbers down to show the real situation downtown. Some people say 12,000, when in reality its more like 7,000.

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Cleveland's downtown population is never going to expand exponentially and be a true downtown until they do something to attract families. Their effort on that end is laughable. Name me one great city that relies strictly on empty nestors and 20/30 somethings to fill their urban core.

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Cleveland's downtown population is never going to expand exponentially and be a true downtown until they do something to attract families. Their effort on that end is laughable. Name me one great city that relies strictly on empty nestors and 20/30 somethings to fill their urban core.

 

Things are in the works.... Deb Janik of the Greater Cleveland Partnership has outlined plans to turn the malls, Public Square and even East 3rd street into a true urban park. She discussed the rooms along the malls that will host things like yoga or ice cream stands, lighting schemes throughout downtown color coded to guide people to the different districts. There's already the science center and Aquarium. All that is needed is a good school.

 

I think a downtown that relies solely on families is laughable as well. Downtown should be an attractive choice for everybody with certain districts more geared towards different crowds or age groups. That being said downtown needs to attract more of everybody.

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http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=183138

 

According to this list, Cleveland's downtown population ranks 12th in the US.  Selected highlights:

 

2. Chicago- 42,563

11. Milwaukee- 8915

12. Cleveland- 8433

16. Houston- 6678

17. Atlanta- 6418

24. Pittsburgh- 5422

31. Columbus- 4374

32. Cincinnati- 4303

36. Indy- 3481

37. St. Louis- 3392

40. Boise- 3093

42. Toledo- 2735

56. Tampa- 709

 

So I grant that we've seen some overstated estimates, but on a comparative basis we're still doing rather well.  Thus I do not believe lack of downtown population is a legitimate excuse for the vacancies.  As with anything, of course there could be more.  Much more.  And there will be.  But we should not allow our strengths to be counted as weaknesses.  And besides, there appears to be minimal correlation between downtown retail and downtown population.  Compare this list to the one in UO's department store thread.

 

FCE reminds me of the Dolans, always trying to big-time us despite the fact that everyone can see successful operations taking place in similarly sized markets.

 

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327: Great info - but I'm sure its flawed, 'cause it's too perfect, otherwise.

 

It's obvious the "residents" argument means nothing. A shoping center like Beachwood Place or Crocker Park considers its trade area to be 600-700K+ within, say, 20-30 minutes. And we're supposed to beleive that Tower City puts its tipping point at, say, 10,000 to 20,000, etc... downtown residents? Baloney.

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Well you can call it BS all you want, but FC says downtown needs more people to support better retail and so do market analyst at DDR; another extremely large Cleveland based shopping center manager.

 

On top of that if retailers thought they could make money they'd be there already. When stores look at a new location they can plug the demographic info of an area into software and find out if the spot is viable in 5 seconds. The income for an area 2 to 3 miles from TC is probably way lower than a similar sized radius going from Beachwood, or Great Northern or Southpark, something that also factors into the quality of stores. Remember, TC isn't empty it's just lacking the stores that are in Beachwood Mall.

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FCE lists 9 core markets on their website and Cleveland is not among them, even though they developed (and are based in) Cleveland's core marketplace.  DDR feels that downtown is not even a good HQ site if Beachwood is available.  Frankly I don't think theirs are the opinions we should be running with.

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FCE lists 9 core markets on their website and Cleveland is not among them, even though they developed (and are based in) Cleveland's core marketplace.  DDR feels that downtown is not even a good HQ site if Beachwood is available.  Frankly I don't think theirs are the opinions we should be running with.

 

 

So you'd ignore the people who breakdown and analyze markets to decide where to build, acquire or sell malls everyday for a profit. That makes a lot of sense. Not.

 

If the Gap, J Crew, Lacoste, Tiffany's or whomever thought it made good business sense to be downtown Cleveland today they do not need Forest City Enterprises or their mall to do it. They could've leased any of the vacant retail space that is available. They continue to choose not to.

 

If Downtown is ripe for retail show me the line of retailers waiting to sign up.

 

 

In some years with a larger and wealthier residential base Downtown will be more attractive, but the absence of these coveted stores paints a different picture about today.

 

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Re post 203, I would direct you to 209. 

 

I am the first one to point out the realities of post 209.  But, for the purposes of THIS discussion, that is exactly what they are.... realities.  I don't care if downtown's population doubles to 15,000.... it would not support the level and type of retail you desire.  The neighborhoods AROUND downtown need to fill up, particularly the residential desert going out to E 55th.  That is what separates a lot of other cities from Cleveland.  And, let's not ignore the fact that retail in general is struggling due to several factors, including but not limited to the economy, big-box stores and online shopping. 

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