Cat's out of the bag. The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business journal reported that Westfield officials submitted plans to add a pair of anchor tenants to Valley Fair mall by the end of 2008. That would increase the square footage of the mall by a third, swelling the mall to a staggering two million square feet. Consider the mall already weighs in at approximately 1.4 million square feet now. So, where will they put two more anchor tenants? Parking at the mall is worse than an Israeli retaliation already. My only guess is more parking garages.
I contacted the mall to get more details on their planned expansion. Stacy Carroll, Marketing Director of the mall, responded to my inquiry with "As this time, we do not have specifics on the two new anchor stores."
It seems unlikely Westfield would plan an expansion without anchors already expressing interest in the mall. Maybe they are afraid they'll curse the deal. Nonetheless, now we move into the speculation phase. What two department stores would join one of California’s must successful malls? And with Stanford Shopping Center in nearby Palo Alto monopolizing the uber-chi big players of the retail luxury world, who could be interested in Valley Fair?
* Neiman Marcus? Is there enough wealth to go around to have two Neiman Marcus stores so close together?
* Saks Fifth Avenue? Well, since they are contracting rather than expanding, it doesn't seem likely.
* Bloomingdale's? Maybe, but do we really need ANOTHER Federated store at Valley Fair? They already have two Macy's and we all know Bloomingdale's is a Macy's with a bowtie.
* Dillard's? Could the Arkansas-based retailer make its way into the competitive Bay Area market? They've already tested the water with a store in Stockton. I, for one, would love to see Dillard's come to the Bay Area. We could use more choices.
* Mervyn's? They have new owners and are busy trying to turn things around. Seems unlikely they are expanding.
* Target? Could be. Seems like they are in every mall now. This could be a good choice for the high-end mall.
* Kohl's? Doubtful.
What's your guess?