Even though South Coast Plaza is one of the most successful malls on the planet, that doesn’t mean the high-brow, fashion-oriented center doesn’t have challenges.
For example, the recent buyback of the Sears property at the mall is by no means a no-brainer acquisition. Retailing competition is intense, not only between shoppings centers and their merchants, but online shopping snares a growing slice of the shopping dollars.
The mall owner, the Segerstrom family, has some tough decisions to make. The venerable Sears chain is probably a short-term tenant and it isn’t the only problem child in the mall’s lineup.
So what replaces Sears? And what about redevelopment at the Costa Mesa mall? Remember, all retail centers are about more than shopping these days.
I’d suggest any major retooling keeps in mind a certain previously ignored customer: a man whose idea of an international name brand might be a T-shirt or ballcap adorned with the logo of the Toronto Raptors, the Vancouver Canucks or Manchester United. You know, something for us fellas to do while the family shops the boutiques when we no longer have Sears as our shelter.
So here are a dozen ideas I hope make the whiteboard at South Coast’s brain-storming sessions on its the new men’s wing (wink, wink).
Let’s start with shopping …
Craftsman Corner: This would be both a tip-of-the-cap to the Sears legacy at the mall and a way for the new owners of the much-admired Craftsman hardware and tool brand – yes, the Sears fire sale including selling this asset to competitor Black & Decker — to show off their wares. Let’s face it, Sears is pretty much the South Coast Metro…