Of all shopping malls to make a big announcement while I was vacationing in the mountains, Southdale Center would not have been my first - or fifth - guess. How long can we reasonably continue to believe "redevelopment plans are in the works"? So I was indeed surprised and tickled to hear that H&M will open at Southdale this fall, with a two-level store nearly as large as the one at Mall of America. It won't make up for the gaping Mervyn's hole, but it could finally create some buzz for the way-past-its-prime mall.
Or will it? Hundreds showed up for the opening of H&M at Mall of America - but that was the first in town. When the second location opened in Woodbury, there was a much more modest turnout. We're H&M regulars now. While the news is sure to be exciting to Southdale regulars, it's unlikely to draw new shoppers the way it would were the store exclusive to the market. But, it could be enough to make other retailers take another look at the mall - which has a higher than average vacancy rate. I'll have more on that in my column this Sunday. Until then, weigh in. Does the arrival of H&M renew your faith in the nation's first covered shopping mall?
This is huge news for Southdale! There were few reasons for me to shop at Southdale until now. And I'm happy not to have to schlep out to MOA and face the parking chaos and crowds to go to one of my favorite stores (Nordstrom is the other). But does this mean H&M will be like the Gap and even Target when more people will be wearing the same clothes?! Oh the dread... Thanks for the news anyway Ali!
Posted by: Jen Stack | July 06, 2009 at 02:40 PM
I'm from about 4 hours away and ALWAYS make it a point to visit Southdale while in town - even if just to eat! I love Southdale because it does not have the crazy traffic (inside and out) like MOA. And I love Galleria too, so it is so nice that they are right next to each other! I am super-excited for H+M to make an appearance in Southdale, it will hopefully encourage other shops to follow along!
Posted by: Kaci | July 06, 2009 at 05:13 PM
I prefer Southdale over Mall of America (and only go to MOA because of Nordstrom actually), but Southdale needs a huge shot in the arm. H&M might be a good start, but it desperately needs more. I know all the cool upscale stores go to the Galleria. I would love to see a Nordstrom or Von Maur go into Southdale. I think a fabulous anchor is really what is missing.
Posted by: lesli | July 08, 2009 at 10:58 AM
I think that it is certainly a step in the right direction. I live within blocks of Southdale and do a lot of my shopping there and find it disheartening to see all the empty shops. I do hope that H&M and the business that it is certain to generate will bring along other shops. But a lot more than H&M and a few new shops are needed to bring Southdale back to where it was in days gone by. It needs some help and some serious attention by the owners/developers!
Posted by: Susan | July 08, 2009 at 12:34 PM
I will actually be working at the H&M at the Southdale mall and have heard a lot of speculation from customers. Many think it will bring back the spark Southdale once had, and I hope so too! We're not sure what to expect but we're very excited!
Posted by: Corey | October 06, 2009 at 10:34 PM