Thursday, December 13, 2012

Capitola Mall and Northridge Mall up for Sale

Reuters is reporting that Macerich has put Capitola Mall and Northridge Mall in Salinas on the block (that is, the person who offers the most money for the mall can buy it).

Macerich is looking to offload many of its B Class malls, which are malls that generate at least $350 a square foot. Class A malls generate at least $450 per square foot.

Sources also report that Capitola Mall and Northridge Mall both have occupancy rates greater than 90%. Essentially, the malls would seem profitable, but not enough for Macerich.

Source: Macerich seeks to sell malls with lower sales rating - sources

Friday, December 07, 2012

Livermore Outlets Sold

Before the paint has dried, Paragon has sold the outlet mall in Livermore. But good news, it was sold to Simon Property Group, the owner of most of the other outlet malls in the state. The transaction occurred on December 5, 2012. Read the full story here.

The outlet mall has been renamed to "Livermore Valley Premium Outlets"

I'll just stick to calling it the Livermore outlets.

BART Accessible Shopping Malls

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a great way to way to get around and stops near a number of San Francisco Bay Area shopping malls.

The following malls are located within a reasonable walking distance or free shuttle from a BART station:

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Livermore Outlets Trashing Tracy Outlets

Now that the Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley are open and lining up cars for miles, are the Tracy Outlets doomed?

The Tracy Outlets, owned by Northwest Outlets since 2008, was built at the height of the outlet mall crazy in 1994. Tracy Outlets were so popular, they clobbered the competing Big Valley Factory Outlet Mall in Lathrop, which opened in 1994 and eventually converted to offices in 1996. One could arguably say that the Tracy Outlets even took the steam out of Livermore's first attempt at a factory outlet mall, The Vineyard at Livermore [outlets], also converted to offices.

Looking over the Tracy Outlets store directory, only 13 stores are listed:

Carter's Children’s Wear
Casual Male
Corning Revere
Famous Footwear Outlet
Gifts, Etc
Lane Bryant Outlet
Levi's Outlet Store
Luxury Perfumes
OshKosh B'Gosh
Tuesday Morning
Van Heusen

What stores are duplicated in Livermore? Carters, Famous Footwear Outlet, Levi's Outlet Store, OshKosh B'Gosh, and Van Heusen.

A total of 27 retail spaces have been carved out of the 153,000 sq. ft. center. With the percentage of the center leased running at 50%, can Tracy Outlets survive in its current form?

Me thinks not.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Top 5 Best Outlet Malls in Northern California

According to the BIGMallrat Web poll, readers have selected the following factory outlet malls as their favorites*:

1) Gilroy Outlets (118 votes)
2) Vacaville Outlets (103 votes)
3) Great Mall Milpitas (68 votes)
4) Folsom Outlets (38 votes)
5) Napa Outlets (30 votes)

Want your voice heard?  Vote for your favorite outlet mall at Best Outlet Malls in Northern California, poll displays on the left.

* Results as of December 3, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Welcome Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley!

Today Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley opened in Livermore, California. This is the first regional (outlet) shopping center to open in the San Francisco Bay Area in years.

The outlet mall features 120 stores, most unique to the area and many unique to any factory outlet mall in Northern California.

Upscale? Yes! Burberry, Prada, Barney's, Neiman Marcus, Juicy Couture, and more have outlet stores here.

You'll find some regular favorites like The Gap, Banana Republic, and Van Heusen.

Shoes will be overflowing: Aldo, Sketchers, Bass, Converse, Nike, and plenty more.

Alas, no Adidas, you'll have to go to Gilroy for that.

Enjoy the new outlet mall and look forward to a full review soon.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Petaluma Village Premium Outlets

Petaluma Village Premium Outlets, or just the "Petaluma Outlets," is a factory outlet center 30 to 45 minutes north of San Francisco. In my travels, I've often past this center and rarely stopped. It was time to give it a fair shake.
Entrance sign.

First and foremost, the shopping center is difficult to get to. There is no freeway connection and you have to exit well before you see the sign. Once you've finally made the right exit, it's easy to pass the only entrance to the mall. A u-turn later and we were in.

Unique architecture.
Art piece.

Once in the center, it is pleasantly landscaped. A number of desirable stores were available and a few even sucked me in.

When reviewing this outlet center, I felt compelled to compare it to Napa Outlets, which has a lot of great stores in a compact design. However, the architecture at Petaluma Outlets far outweighs the Napa Outlets, the people were friendlier, and the selection of stores is good enough.

A small enclosed food court used to be available, but is now closed. Therefore, there are no food options at this mall, just a coffee shop. Bring snacks.

In all honesty, I expected to not like Petaluma Outlets, but I was wrong. It's worth a visit if you are a factory outlet shopper.


Read my updated review of Petaluma Outlets.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sears vs. JC Penney vs. Macy's - The Gloves Come Off

Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing comparative shopping at some of the nations largest department stores: Sears, JC Penney, and Macy's. This was the first time I shopped for the same exact item at all three retailers, so it was a true comparison of selection, price, service and checkout time.

Comparison item: Levi 511 jeans, retail for $58.00.

Location: Southland Mall in Hayward, California.

Sears result:
Store size: 292,000 sq. ft. (source: Rouse Properties Site Plan).
Selection: 5-10 different styles of 511s.
Price: On sale, $42.99
Service: Non-existent (self-serve)
Checkout time: 10 - 15 minute wait.

JC Penney result:
Store size: 156,000 sq. ft. (source: JC Penney Investor Fact Book 2010).
Selection: 5-10 different styles of 511s.
Price: Unknown... no price tags or signage
Service: Non-existent (self-serve)
Checkout time: 3-5 minute wait.

Macy's result:
Store size: 179,000 sq. ft. (source: Macys Fact Book 2011).
Selection: 12-16 different styles of 511s.
Price: On sale, $42.99
Service: Excellent (sales people ask if you need help)
Checkout time: 1-2 minute wait.

In my opinion, Macy's won this challenge. JC Penney wasn't too far behind, regardless of the mystery pricing. Sears... they don't seem to have a clue how to be retailing.

Share your experiences at these stores!