Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"We don't shop vertically"

"huh?" That was my reaction when a born and bred New Yorker explained to me earlier this week that native New Yorkers don't like shopping malls; they only shop in street level stores. "We don't shop vertically," she told me.

I had never given that a moment's thought ("that's not a surprise, you're not a New Yorker") but now that I have, it's quite true. There aren't any suburban-style mega malls in the city. There is a mall near Herald Square but that seems marginally successful at best (Matt says the mall has good bathrooms). And there are the shops in the Time Warner Center, which seems successful although always fairly empty.

TJ Maxx does share a building with Bed Bath and Beyond and Filene's Basement but that isn't really a mall. The Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn really isn't either. That's more a collection of anchor stores with just a few other spots to fill space.

My New Yorker source explained to me that New Yorkers like the feeling of street level stores and have a superiority complex whereby they will pay full price at small stores rather than shop for a deal. ("And yet all the New Yorkers who go to East Hampton to go Kmart to get their sheets.")


Is this really a New Yorker thing or is it an urban thing? I guess I can really only compare this to DC-- which does have Georgetown Park (from True Lies fame) and Pentagon City.


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