Being Real in New York City

Submitted by peter holmes on Mon, 11/28/2005 - 09:34.

Reality in New York City is ephemeral but a good indicator of the future - if you know what indicators to read.  And what does the future there foreshadow for the future of NEO?  Good questions and better yet, so are the answers.  What  are the thoughts of others reading this?  More later....

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With the discussion of real

With the discussion of real estate being upper most on the minds of some, what with Duke Realty's decision to foresake NEO juxtaposed with Forest City's successes here and elsewhere,  the issue in focus is the impact of internet retailing upon shopping centers. In New York, the impacts are very noticeable, as shoppers become more informed about value and pricing.  Post Thanksgiving traffic in Manhattan was less this year than before.  And retailers are resorting to a broader array of gimmicks and hidden persuasion to coax shoppers into their stores.  Timed coupons are one such device.  Sales taxes and big  box stores are undoubtedly grabbing there share to complement what the internet is taking.  But as shopping becomes more defined as entertainment, the qualities that make boutiques attractive cannot be overtaken either by lure of the internet or the promise of low prices.  How will Cleveland's retailers repsond to these challenges?  And what are landlords doing to  create the special environments that can make this season of the year entertaining for their  merchants?  ONe only has to look to downtowsn lights to realize that the shift in Cleveland is alrady a 10 on the Richter Scale.  Will 5th Avenue be far behind?    

Shopping in NEO

As a kid my family would go to NYNY each December (my dad had to attend an annual conference) and the experience was amazing - windows filled with moving displays and lights everywhere... an experience once offered in Cleveland but long lost.

attempt to recreate that experience is everywhere in NEO now, as downtown is doing its best to retro-create "The Chirstmas Story" experience, and places like Crocker Park spread their inauthentic chainstore cheer. That is drawing out plenty of shoppers, but current sales data indicates sales are not as strong as retailers hope.

Sales are down because costs of so much else are up (eg. fuel), and so much of the population is overextended and economically down (certainly the case in Cleveland).

But I believe there is another factor, which is that there's nothing "hot" out there to bother buying - yeah, there's a new machine to pump "scent stories" into your home, and Apple has new nano-pods... better than the old pods, and there's that buggy X-whatever video game thing they keep showing ads for, but in general I'm pleased to say mindless mass-consumerism is becoming entirely lame and tired - no hot new technologies - no need for a faster processor or more megapixels or a bigger TV - so perhaps now people will  shop for really unique, authentic things and values, and stop buying so much useless junk.

Cleveland has a wealth of artists and arts - they are showing and selling work all over town right now, and we're featuring them on the calendar, and Evelyn Kiefer is blogging  about unique NEO sales places and items - check them out and buy something authentic, made in NEO, and unique... this week, you could have found that at Hodge School, CIA, the Artcraft Building and even Eton Square - we'll keep steering you in the right direction... feel free to add your suggestions to