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Old 03-14-2010, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
10,079 posts, read 19,975,900 times
Reputation: 2660

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Interesting article here: Shoppers' wish list: high-end retailers - Local / Metro - TheState.com (http://www.thestate.com/2010/03/14/1200076/economic-recovery-could-lure-high.html - broken link) Would love to hear peoples opinions on it.

-While Greenville's MSA population is only 625,000 you can't just not include Anderson and Spartanburg counties population like they don't exist. A lot of those people including me drive to the Haywood Mall and Woodruff Road areas to get their shopping done. I go to Haywood Mall along with Woodruff Road all the time and I live in northeast Anderson County.

Last edited by g-man430; 03-14-2010 at 12:24 AM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:25 AM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-man430 View Post
Interesting article here: Shoppers' wish list: high-end retailers - Local / Metro - TheState.com (http://www.thestate.com/2010/03/14/1200076/economic-recovery-could-lure-high.html - broken link) Would love to hear peoples opinions on it.

-While Greenville's MSA population is only 625,000 you can't just not include Anderson and Spartanburg counties population like they don't exist. A lot of those people including me drive to the Haywood Mall and Woodruff Road areas to get their shopping done. I go to Haywood Mall along with Woodruff Road all the time and I live in northeast Anderson County.
You're right, but the point still stands when you include Charleston and even Augusta (which the article didn't mention).
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:32 AM
 
843 posts, read 2,402,510 times
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While I agree the Midlands could use a little more niche, the stores mentioned are just bandwagons that have little thought put into them ("They have this store. Why don't we?").

Whole Foods - While I will admit their pizza is fabulous, the rest is just the same overpriced stuff available at Earth Fare, Fresh Market, Rosewood Market and even Publix.

Pottery Barn - I thought this place was going out of business?

PF Changs - I ate at one of these years ago (outside the state) and it tasted like the stuff you get at the mall where they're trying to push samples off on everyone walking by. I've never heard anything good about the place.

Apple Store - Sure, we could use one around here, but they're still not anything special these days as they become as common as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

While I don't think a Mast General Store is a good fit for Cola (it works in Greenville because walking on Main St there feels like you're in a small town, and Mast plays into that atmosphere; in Cola it would just seem out of place), I'd rather see more options like that than just playing 'me too' and trying to keep up with whatever Gville/Chaz has. I like Whole Foods, but I think Trader Joe's would be a better choice and offer something not available elsewhere.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,482 posts, read 13,200,349 times
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To me it means that when each of Columbia's high-income shopping areas (Harbison, Sandhill and downtown including the Vista, the CBD and Five Points) each have critical mass, the metro will get three of each restaurant and retail chain in question.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:31 PM
 
1,467 posts, read 1,883,932 times
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I'm definitely a big proponent of Columbia getting more stores. I would love for a Whole Foods Market to be here (preferably at the Village at Sandhills Mall). IMO, none of the other health food stores in Columbia compare to it. Moreover, I think that a Whole Foods Market will provide some healthy competition to Earthfare, and the other health food stores. I specifically mention Earthfare because they appear to be the largest health food store here - and frankly, I am very disappointed with their selections. I recall when I first moved here and went to the deli at Earthfare to get some low-sodium turkey. The clerk responded: "we do not have any of that, but we probably will get some because so many customers are asking for it." Trader Joe's is also nice. Columbia should have both stores.

I want to comment on the article because I found the explanation given by the columnist to be overly simplistic. The columnist states that it's the geography of Columbia that's preventing the influx of high-end stores, and that "you've got to pick your side." This landscape of the geography, where wealthier people live in various - albeit separate - pockets of the city (and outer-cities), is not specific to Columbia, SC. Many other cities have these same dynamics. It is hard for me to buy this argument as the critical reason why more stores are not here.

A more compelling argument could be that the city of Columbia is heavily invested in the development of the downtown and surrounding areas (as they should be). Thus, if the Village at Sandhills mall, for example, were to get many of the stores that were mentioned in the article, this would probably have a negative impact on the growth of downtown area. (This would also be true if most of these stores were in the Harbison area.) So, I suspect that politicking is going on. Columbia will probably not see an influx of these stores unless the city can figure out some way that all of them can be located in the downtown/Shandon/Forest Acres areas. While locating these stores in the Harbison or Northeast areas may make sense, it is simply too threatening to the growth of the downtown area.

Of course, if the city decided to wipe-out the failing Canalside development and build all of these stores in that location, then I would still be a happy camper. I'm easy to please.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
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I don't really buy that argument. Greenville and Charleston are just as invested in their downtowns, maybe even more so than Columbia. Furthermore, many of those big name retailers just aren't going to go downtown in the first place. Look at cities much larger and much wealthier than Columbia that have a whole lot more going on in their downtowns--Charlotte, Atlanta, DC--and you'll still find the largest concentration of most of those retailers, not downtown, but in outlying areas like SouthPark, Perimeter, Tysons Corner, etc.

I'm curious to know what other similarly-sized cities in the country have such a dynamic. It's going to be more common in larger cities (i.e., Charlotte), but the sheer numbers they have don't make it an issue like it does in a smaller metro like Columbia that lacks that critical mass more locally.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
10,079 posts, read 19,975,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceezer View Post
While I agree the Midlands could use a little more niche, the stores mentioned are just bandwagons that have little thought put into them ("They have this store. Why don't we?").

Whole Foods - While I will admit their pizza is fabulous, the rest is just the same overpriced stuff available at Earth Fare, Fresh Market, Rosewood Market and even Publix.
Greenville has Earth Fare, Fresh Market, Garners, and Publix too. Why can't Columbia have Whole Foods like Greenville does? I honestly think Columbia could and should have Whole Foods Market.

Quote:
Pottery Barn - I thought this place was going out of business?
HUH? So not true. Where do people hear these false rumors from?

Quote:
PF Changs - I ate at one of these years ago (outside the state) and it tasted like the stuff you get at the mall where they're trying to push samples off on everyone walking by. I've never heard anything good about the place.
I actually like their food but agree it could be much better.

Quote:
Apple Store - Sure, we could use one around here, but they're still not anything special these days as they become as common as Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Common as BBB huh? Way wrong on that one. They're much more higher-end and tend to draw in other high-end tenants wherever they decide to locate. They're much more stricter than BBB too in terms of location, design, size of store, etc. It takes Apple three years just to locate in one city after deciding to go there.

Quote:
While I don't think a Mast General Store is a good fit for Cola (it works in Greenville because walking on Main St there feels like you're in a small town, and Mast plays into that atmosphere; in Cola it would just seem out of place), I'd rather see more options like that than just playing 'me too' and trying to keep up with whatever Gville/Chaz has. I like Whole Foods, but I think Trader Joe's would be a better choice and offer something not available elsewhere.
Trader Joes. AGREED.

Last edited by g-man430; 03-14-2010 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,482 posts, read 13,200,349 times
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The article is clear that not enough higher-income people will patronize any one spot in Columbia right now because they are divided in two, in spots far removed from each other. As each area reaches the critical mass that fits certain stores' criteria, they will get those stores.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,536 posts, read 13,726,654 times
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Other than Apple Store, I think locally owned retailers fill the other niches just fine. I've never been one to go gaga over chain stores or restaurants - give me a little local uniqueness any day of the week. BTW, Gman, if you include Anderson and Spartanburg with Greenville then you might as well include Sumter and Orangeburg with Columbia.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC, USA (mostly)
5,408 posts, read 13,334,250 times
Reputation: 2426
If we include Spartanburg (as should be done along with Anderson), then we have two Costco stores in the Upstate within thirty minutes of each other. Anderson has made significant gains in the retail, restaurant, and hotel industries lately. Spartanburg is still struggling to attract even mediocre national restaurant chains, but hopefully that will change soon. We have loads of local retailers to meet the needs of those who prefer shopping local. We even have a nice locally owned iPlace store downtown for Apple fans. I guess the point is that some mid-sized metro areas can have both the local and national retailers citizens desire. We are fortunate to live along a major interstate artery between two of the fastest growing cities in the Southeastern USA.
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