I am somewhat surprised that there isn’t more of a hub-bub surrounding the recent news that Anthropologie, a trendy & popular woman’s apparel, accessories, and home decor retailer, owned by Urban Outfitters is moving to Breton Village in Fall 2011. The community has always been striving for well known brand names to move into the area, and Grand Rapids is heading in the right direction look at some of the other current “cool” tenants of Grand Rapids like the Apple Store, and The North Face (which is opening up next weekend in Woodlawn Mall).
Well part of the reason people still do not think Grand Rapids has arrived could be because we do not have a Trader Joe’s. (though it shouldn’t be) See examples here – read the comments as well 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Not to mention Facebook Groups – by the way Trader Joe fans get your act together and consolidate, no wonder why Trade Joe’s doesn’t want a store here, look at this mess below:
- Bring Trader Joe’s to Grand Rapids! with 593 members
- Bring Trader Joe’s to Grand Rapids, MI! with 5,695 members
- Bring Trader Joe’s to Grand Rapids!!! with 70 members
- Trader Joe’s–Come to Grand Rapids!!! with 46 members
- Please open a Trader Joe’s in Grand Rapids, MI with 296 members
- We Need Trader Joe’s In Grand Rapids, Michigan! with 71 members
- Trader Joe’s PLEASE come to Grand Rapids! with 35 members
- Bring Trader Joe’s to Grand Rapids, MI with 34 members
- Grand Rapids needs a Trader Joe’s!!! with 51 members
- We want a Trader Joe’s in West Michigan! with 213 members
So why is it thought that Grand Rapids still hasn’t arrived yet? The real reason (my hypothesis) is that these stores are not in downtown Grand Rapids. They are on the outskirts of town, or in the mall (which in many GR proponent view as evil). Right now when people talk or brag about Grand Rapids they start with downtown, which basically has everything, except for a strong retail shopping presence. When people talk about other downtown areas that they are found of retail shopping usually comes up, and more often than not the talk leads to international brand name stores, trendy boutiques, and the like. Perhaps the DeVos family can kick off this initiative as well, after all Pamela DeVos (wife to Dan) is the designer and president of the Pamella Roland brand of designer womans clothes.
So what do you all think would these type of stores be better off in downtown Grand Rapids and would they be supported and thrive with consumer spending? Or is the Grand Rapids downtown just not have enough residents and visitors to support a well known retail store yet?
For my other post on Grand Rapids “arriving” click here.
Update: So did WOOD TV 8 read my blog and get a story idea – click here for text and video . Very cool of A.K. Rikk’s to use ArtPrize as an opportunity to explore (and exploit the crowds) the feasibility of opening up one of their stores downtown. The short term leases sound like a great idea, and a good way for a retailer and the city to find a perfect match. Why wouldn’t the city and property owners be more open to this concept.