Beyond Retail

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A 1994 list of Natick Mall tenants



I was recently looking for information about the old Natick Mall (being the 1994 one) on Lexis-Nexis when I came across this "A complete guide to the new Natick Mall's lineup of stores", which was published on October 9, 1994.

Looking at this list of stores, how many of them still exist?

Department stores

  • Filene's

  • Jordan Marsh (Jordan Marsh's final store built, became Macy's in 1996)

  • Lord & Taylor

  • Sears

Women's apparel

  • Ann Taylor

  • bebe

  • Cache

  • Cacique Lingerie

  • Chico's

  • Elisabeth

  • Express

  • First Issue

  • 5-7-9

  • Lane Bryant

  • Lerner New York

  • The Limited

  • Maternite by Mother's Work

  • Monsoon

  • Petite Sophisticate

  • Talbots

  • Talbots Intimates

  • Talbots Petites

  • Victoria's Secret

  • The Weathervane
Men's apparel
  • Britches Great Outdoors

  • Chess King

  • Enzo Fabiano

  • Gingiss Formalwear

  • J. Riggings

  • Jeans West

  • Pacific Sunwear

  • Structure

Men's and women's apparel

  • Abercrombie & Fitch

  • Aeropostale

  • Banana Republic

  • Brooks Brothers

  • Eddie Bauer

  • French Connection

  • Gap

  • Guess?

  • Hartfield & Co.

  • Next

  • The Original Levi's Store

  • Speedo

  • Wilson's The Leather Experts

Children's apparel

  • The Children's Place

  • GapKids

  • Gymboree

  • Limited Too

  • Talbots Kids
Restaurants
  • Au Bon Pain

  • California Pizza Kitchen

  • Friendly's

  • Great Stuff (talk about vague restaurant names)

  • Johnny Rockets

Fine jewelry

  • Belden Jewelers

  • Hannoush Jewelers

  • Just Watches

  • Karten's Jewelers

  • Kay Jewelers

  • Long's Jewelers

  • Ultra, The Gold and Diamond Store

  • Whitehall Co. Jewellers

Jewelry and accessories

  • Afterthoughts Boutique

  • Claire's Boutique

  • The Earring Tree

  • The Icing

  • Landau Collection

  • Monsoon Accessorize

  • The Sunglass Company

  • Sunglass Hut

Footwear

  • Aldo

  • Bakers

  • Dolci's

  • Easy Spirit

  • Florsheim Shoe Shop

  • Footaction

  • Foot Locker

  • Great Feet! (evolved into Stride Rite)

  • Guess? Shoes

  • Lady Foot Locker

  • Naturalizer Shoes

  • 9 & Co.

  • Nine West

  • Overland Trading Co.

  • Thom McAn

Cards, gifts and books

  • Amy's Hallmark

  • Kotliar's Cards & Gifts

  • Lauriat's Books (stayed until the entire Boston-based chain collapsed)

  • Noah's

  • Papyrus

  • San Francisco Music Box Co.

  • Spencer Gifts

  • Things Remembered

  • Woodbine

  • Yankee Candle Co.

Specialty

  • Brookstone

  • Cap Factory

  • Chesapeake Knife & Tool

  • Glamour Shots

  • Godiva Chocolatier

  • The London Harness Co.

  • The Museum Co.

  • Natural Wonders

  • The Right Start

  • Warner Bros. Studio Store (could anyone forget their hanging boat? Closed in 2001)

Services

  • BayBank (then BankBoston, then FleetBoston, now BofA)

  • Car Cleaning Center (ironically, a car wash will be located in the underground garage in the 2007 Expansion)

  • Cohen's Fashion Optical

  • Framingham Savings Bank ATM

  • Thomas Cook Travel

Audio, video and electronics

  • Babbage's (evolved into GameSpot)

  • EBX

  • Radio Shack

  • Ritz Camera One-Hour Photo

  • Sam Goody (stayed about 10 years, then replaced by FYE)

  • Suncoast Motion Picture Co.

  • The Wall

Toys, hobbies and sports

  • Building Blocks

  • The Great Train Store

  • Hammett's Learning World

  • Herman's: We Are Sports

  • Kay Bee Toys

  • Learningsmith (owned in part by WGBH, eventually became the Discovery Channel Store)

  • NordicSport by Nordic Track

  • Olympia Express

  • Pennant Fever

Health and beauty

  • Bath & Body Works

  • The Body Shop

  • Catherine Michael's Hair Salon

  • Crabtree & Evelyn

  • CVS

  • Dellaria Salon

  • Garden Botanika

  • H2O Plus

  • Perfumania

Home furnishings and accessories

  • Alex & Ivy

  • The Bombay Co.

  • Crate & Barrel

  • Expressions Custom Furniture

  • Lechter's Housewares

  • Prints Plus

  • This End Up Furniture Co.

Food Court

  • Cajun Cafe & Grill

  • Flamers Charbroiled Hamburgers (this, along with Sbarro and Haagen-Dazs are the only original food court tenants still at the mall)

  • Great Wraps

  • Haagen-Dazs

  • J. Brenner's Chicken & Cheesesteaks

  • Manchu Wok

  • Morrison's Fresh Cooking

  • Nathan's

  • 1 Potato 2

  • Sarku Japan

  • Sbarro

  • Soupmasters

Specialty food

  • Auntie Anne's

  • The Chocolate Dipper

  • The Coffee Beanery

  • Gloria Jean's Gourmet Coffees

  • Nature Food Centres

  • Orange Julius-Just Juice

  • The Original Cookie Co.

  • Sweet Factory

Entertainment

  • Aladdin's Castle (losing this drug-filled "entertainment center" was no big loss)

What's striking from this list is how many stores no longer exist at the mall. Too many to name, and most of them have gone out of business. Then again, some of today's most popular and successful retailers, including Sephora, American Eagle Outfitters, and Abercrombie & Fitch's Hollister Co., were either nothing (in the case of Hollister) or small chains getting ready to explode (in the case of AE). It just shows the amount of turnover in the retail industry over the course of 12 years.

But might be a little less noticeable is the upscale direction that the mall has taken. Everytime that a Herman's or Foot Locker was replaced with Coach or Swarovski, the overall mall has moved just a bit more upscale. MetroWest is becoming more than a bedroom community; it's becoming an affluent one. Neiman Marcus would have laughed if they were sent a lease to become an anchor in the Natick Mall of 1994, but look at what's happening now. Looking at what the mall has become seems to help make a bit more sense about why a monstrosity is growing out of the Twinkie factory.

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