Beyond Retail

Friday, July 14, 2006

From Hollister to Sears, thefts are on the rise

Here are some clippings from the MetroWest Daily News/Natick Bulletin & TAB:
  • On Wednesday, June 21, at 2:43 p.m., three Brockton women were arrested after police said they shoplifted at the Hollister Company at the Natick Mall. [They] were all charged with shoplifting of property worth more than $100 and conspiracy to commit a crime, police said. According to police, Acardoso was also charged with conspiracy.
  • On Friday, June 23, at 6:35 p.m., a Brighton man was arrested after police said he shoplifted at Sears in the Natick Mall. [He] was charged with shoplifting, police said.
  • On Saturday, June 24, at 9:06 p.m., a Worcester woman was arrested after police said she shoplifted at the Natick Mall. [She] was charged with larceny of property worth more than $250, police said.
  • FRAMINGHAM -- A homeless man was arrested Saturday after police became suspicious of him pushing a shopping cart down the middle of Rte. 30 with cars driving on either side of him while wearing a winter coat with temperatures in the 80s. [He] told police he took the items in the carts -- shirts and electronic equipment with tags still on them -- from his ex-girlfriend's house. But, police said, he stole the merchandise from several stores at the Natick Mall.
  • A Newton woman was arrested Saturday at 9:29 pm after police said she shoplifted from Brookestone's in the Natick Mall.
So, what's similar here?
  1. All are thefts
  2. All took place at the Natick Mall
  3. Almost all of the thieves live in communities that are much closer to other malls.
While these are the reports over the past few weeks, it seems to be a little high. It doesn't seem that there are any specific stores targetted: one man was caught at Sears, a trio was caught at Hollister. But isn't it ironic that none of the thieves (OK, one of them) live nearby? There's a Hollister in Taunton (at Silver City Galleria) for the Brockton girls, and a Sears at CambridgeSide Galleria for the Brighton guy. Is it possible that it is easier to shoplift at Natick than it is at these other malls?

How will Natick combat shoplifting? Supposedly, the mall expansion was going to include a satellite police station, but who knows if that's still on the plans. Hopefully the satellite office won't fare as poorly as Framingham's Shopper's World precinct did (now you ask, there was a police station at Shopper's World?).

With more luxury retail slated for the new "Natick", drawing from a greater distance than ever before, police will have to watch out for more than just Hollister. Hopefully, General Growth and the Natick Mall will give the authorities the facilities necessary to keep the new and old malls safe.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So, what exactly are we going to see at the Natick Mall Expansion?

I've received a lot of e-mail lately regarding potential new tenants at the yet-unnamed Natick Mall Expansion. Although we aren't likely to have an official word on what tenants will make it into the mall until about 6 months before the opening (which would put an possible announcement at March 2007), here's what I'm expecting to see when the mall opens to the public in September 2007.

  • Anchor stores: Well, we already know this one. The larger anchor store will be a 144,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom, which will employ between 300-400 people. The Natick Nordstrom is also expected to include a small espresso bar in the store, along with a 200-seat bistro for upscale dining. The second anchor is a smaller 100,000 sq. ft. Neiman Marcus, though we haven't heard too much about what will be inside.
  • Restaurants: None are official at this point, although GGP has hinted that there will be four sit-down restaurants in the mall. The strongest speculation/rumors seem to focus on The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and Maggiano's Little Italy, along with one more eatery.
  • Boutiques/stores: The final total of interior stores has ranged between 60 and 100 stores: at the moment, GGP claims that there will be around 80 stores, leaving room to fill the mall's existing upper-middle class retail gaps (such as the lack of a full-service Pottery Barn) and add a great deal of upscale retail. In an interview with the Worcester Business Journal, Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton were mentioned explicitly as possiblities. From my own research, some other stores that would make a good fit in the mall include The Apple Store, RUEHL No.925, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, JasmineSola, Barneys New York, BCBG, Max Mara, L'Occitane, Teavana, and Oil & Vinegar, amongst others.

So there's what I'm expecting to see in September 2007. Of course, comments and feedback are always welcome.