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Ali Shops Blog

MG boutique crisis

June 24th, 2008
by Allison Kaplan

Shoppes of Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove has become the place local stores go to die. One of the very few remaining, Pamper Me Pets recently bit the dust. Now it’s just a very small handful, like Shoesters, Goodthings and Hot Mama (a growing chain in its own right) amid all the national chain stores. I remember touring the "lifestyle" center before it opened and hearing the developer promise that the outdoor atmosphere wouldn’t be the only factor to differentiate Arbor Lakes from traditional malls. It was to feature a mix of national chains and local boutiques. The reality is, most independent retailers just can’t pay the rent next door to a Pottery Barn or Gap. There are occasional signs of hope in that sea of parking lots and strip centers, like the opening of Edelweiss Baby. Then again, it replaces Hey Diddle Diddle, another Maple Grove baby shop that couldn’t make it. Are Maple Grove shoppers really so content with the same ol’ chains? You get the feeling driving down Elm Creek Blvd. that you could be in any sprawling suburb in America. There’s nothing to make all that retail space distinct. Too bad developers don’t realize that size isn’t all that matters.

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3 Responses to “MG boutique crisis”

  1. Lynn O'Driscoll says:

    Size doesn’t matter. Look at Woodbury Lakes. What another huge disappointment in the lifestyle center concept. Only one boutique, no restaurants, and now Linens and Things is closing. That will now leave a giant gaping hole in the center. I don’t know who is marketing the center, but I feel they are doing a lousy job!!

  2. lesli says:

    That is too bad about another local boutique biting the dust. Makes me sad. I love your blog and your show on FM107 by the way! I try to listen whenever I can. :)

  3. Jennifer says:

    It’s unfair to single out one shopping center or the locally-owned store category. Regional and national retailers, and shopping centers around the country are feeling the pinch.
    Retailers have to bear some of the burden for their success or failure. The 4 Ps of marketing are Placement (location), Product, Price and Promotion (marketing)–3 of which are the responsibility of the retailer.
    I think Maple Grove has a great selection given the market demographics. If the specialty retailers have failed, it could be because the trade area didn’t want or need the products offered.
    I think the Arbor Lakes development is one of the most unique shopping environments in the Twin Cities. It doesn’t feel like Burnsville, Eagan or Eden Prarie, some of the other sprawling suburbs. There are very few other places here like Main Street and The Shoppes. Maple Grove is fortunate to have an expansive, varied, and notable selection of shops and restaurants.

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