business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Place: The new SoNo Collection, an upscale mall featuring a Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, opened earlier this fall in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The date & time: About 12:30 pm, last Saturday, December 14 … 11 days before Christmas.

The lesson: Pretty obvious.

To be clear … not every mall in America was like this. About 21 miles away, a straight shot up Route 7, the Danbury Fair Mall - opened in 1986 - had a full parking lot, though it is unknown if its stores actually were selling anything. (Danbury Fair has a less upscale selection of stores, but it does have an LL Bean and an Apple Store … each of which can exercise enormous appeal. And so I'd bet that the mall was doing decent or better-than-decent business.)

But to me, this picture was evocative of the realities facing malls - and many bricks-and-mortar retailers - these days. In so many ways, the world has moved on … but I'd also suggest that this mall isn't doing a helluva lot to address the issue, and the folks pictured aren't getting any real help.

You can't succeed if you don't make an effort to be differentiated and compelling.

What this picture reflects is an Eye-Opener. In all the wrong ways.

KC's View: