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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    You got that right. Ren Cen walled itself from the rest of downtown literally with its giant berms and complicated access. If anything it accelerated the demise of Merchant's Row.
    I believe the demise didn't accelerate until Hudson's closed.

  2. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    I believe the demise didn't accelerate until Hudson's closed.
    I agree, and also the closing of Crowley's.

    There's a video on YouTube from the 1978 Thanksgiving Day Parade that still shows Woodward filled with retail (not wig shops and dollar stores either). Even hen it was more of a formidable shopping destination for the entire city and region than whatever Gilbert's cooking up.

  3. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by 313WX View Post
    I disagree. If anything, you all missed Hermod's point.

    These small specialty stores are nice and all, but can we start working on recruiting the mainstream/larger department stores as well? A true shopping destination (if that's the end goal like someone implied earlier) have a mixture of upscale, low-end and mid-range retailers, like Woodward during Detroit's peak had.
    Mainstream stores are the last that move to a reviving not the first. And downtown department store have all been regulated to cities that are major tourist destinations. There is no point hoping that the retail scene will go back to what looked like in the 1950's

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    I believe the demise didn't accelerate until Hudson's closed.
    Nonsense, Hudson's closed because retail sales were already in decline, not vice-versa. Same with Crowley's.
    Towards the end, both resembled bargain stores and not the flagships they once were. If you wanted nicer merchandise, you went out to the 'burbs, where everyone else already was and shopped.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honky Tonk View Post
    Hmmmm, So not only is it fun to blow a Ben on a $12 T, but it'll give my life meaning.... I'll have to try that one day.
    Playing Devil's advocate, I own a few shirts similar to what this store will sell. They are different then a $12 Hanes cotton t-shirt. Slimmer cuts, athletic fabrics that don't shrink or pill and better stitching etc.

    They are a nicer product. Not 833% nicer, but nicer. I enjoy being able to wear a t-shirt outdoors in the heat and not worry about it looking slouchy after a couple of hours.

    That being said, i too get annoyed at flashy announcement for new downtown retail, and it turns out to be something like this that I have no real use for. I understand that downtown shopping needs to be a tourist attraction, for reasons stated above, but it's still feels very, "meh."
    Last edited by Shai_Hulud; June-14-15 at 08:27 PM.

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shai_Hulud View Post
    Playing Devil's advocate, I own a few shirts similar to what this store will sell. They are different then a $12 Hanes cotton t-shirt. Slimmer cuts, athletic fabrics that don't shrink or pill and better stitching etc.

    They are a nicer product. Not 833% nicer, but nicer. I enjoy being able to wear a t-shirt outdoors in the heat and not worry about it looking slouchy after a couple of hours.
    And how about the second part, did you find it meaningful?

  7. #32

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    Two thoughts, tenuously connected:

    1: The cool thing about living in a city is having easy access to wide ranging diversity. In Detroit you're never more than a few minutes from a middle eastern joint, and actually within that broad umbrella you have your pick: Syrian, Yemeni, Iraqi, Lebanese, Moroccan, Greek, etc. The same is true for most any category of restaurant. Asian restaurants run the gamut from NY-style triad run greasetraps to overwhelmingly authentic Vietnamese, Thai, sushi. Pizzerias range from artisanal thin crust to Detroit deep dish to Bangladeshi to straight experimental... Maybe I'm just hungry right now.

    I'll probably never set foot inside 95% of the businesses in metro Detroit. But my life here is richer for their presence. The Muslim clothing stores in Hamtramck support and are supported by the same culture that results in the food I appreciate.

    2: I do mourn the loss of downtown circa 2011. It was like a playground made up of skyscrapers, with pockets of authenticity still holding on by a nail. A lot of the appeal was how surreal the space in general was, contrasting with how down to earth and sincere the businesses and business owners were. I go downtown less and less now -- it's become a different sort of playground, with much less authenticity. But I acknowledge that the city I moved to was unsustainable.

    I'll keep on paying $3.30 for my black tshirts. But I'm glad there are options.

  8. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honky Tonk View Post
    And how about the second part, did you find it meaningful?
    I think the meaningful part was about the experience about city shopping compared to shopping at Somerset or Great Lakes. City shopping, in almost any city anywhere, is a much better and more meaningful experience. In the major American cities, there the sights and sounds of a downtown crowd, diverse selection of eateries, walking around and seeing the sights of old buildings and attractions. So overall it's not about "blowing" a Franklin at these stores, because a person might have done that anyway at Somerset or Lakeside, it's about the experience it brings. And many shoppers who come downtown may have come down to go to the DIA or meet up with someone and then decide to go shopping.

  9. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    I think the meaningful part was about the experience about city shopping compared to shopping at Somerset or Great Lakes. City shopping, in almost any city anywhere, is a much better and more meaningful experience. In the major American cities, there the sights and sounds of a downtown crowd, diverse selection of eateries, walking around and seeing the sights of old buildings and attractions. So overall it's not about "blowing" a Franklin at these stores, because a person might have done that anyway at Somerset or Lakeside, it's about the experience it brings. And many shoppers who come downtown may have come down to go to the DIA or meet up with someone and then decide to go shopping.
    I would partially agree. The other component yet to be mentioned is having a place to be seen after the purchase has been made as well. One of the characteristics of a cosmopolitan, trend-setting city is the appealing visual aesthetic of seeing fashionably dressed people (both business and casual) on the streets. This is essentially a "walking advertisement" that creates demand for more fashion-forward stores.


    This is evident in the financial, arts, and nightlife districts of most major cities in the US, and is carried to the extreme in cities like Milan, where even the shoe-shiner is dressed in (at least faux) Dolce & Gabbana.


    Many call this 'superficial', and it is. However, visual attraction, competition, and social acceptance are also inherently part of our human nature, which is why more people are interested in what Jennifer Lopez is wearing than the Sterling Heights matron sporting a Red Wings jacket.

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I think the suggestion is that Hudson's, Crowley's, and Kern's are all defunct, so Detroit has the same number as any other city, which is none.

    Although that said, Sears is in a death spiral, JC Penney will probably be filing for bankruptcy soon, and department stores in general are closing stores, so it's only a matter of time and the rest of those stores will join the list.
    Sears is certainly in serious decline and Penneys is circling the drain.

    If you had purchased Macy's, Dillard's, or Nordstrom stock in the last seven years, you have been richly rewarded.

    Dillard's went from $3.00 a share in 2009 to $144.20 a share this year.
    Macy's went from $6.30 a share in 2009 to $70.00 a share this year.
    Nordstrom went from $11.20 a share in 2009 to $83.20 a share this year.

    All three have had steady top and bottom line increases.

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honky Tonk View Post
    And how about the second part, did you find it meaningful?
    LOL, I'm largely past the point where I look for fulfillment in material things or acquisition of them.

    But I will agree with above, urban shopping is "more fulfilling" than mall shopping in the same way that going to an independent restaraunt is more fulfilling than going to a chain that you can go to in any city in the country. One is engineered to safe and inoffensive, the other is not and is thus, more dynamic and more memorable for it.

  12. #37

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    I cant wait for the carthartt store to open down the street. That's more of mine speed.

  13. #38

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    Hudsons had started out as a mens specialty store but grew over the years as a mega department store. Kit and Ace only cater to the trendy. They had pinpointed their opening date which is tomorrow. Carthartt cater to a variety of customers but haven't pinpoint it's opening date only a vague date saying this summer. I will be mire excited when that store open more than any store opening in the past few years. These other stores are out of my range for shopping. I think that the vision for downtown is more independent specialty stores such as Royal Oak Birmingham has and still have the pedestrian traffic without the big box draw

  14. #39

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    The opening of a comic book store! It's these varied retail options that attract people. It also mentions the Kit + Ace, Nike, and Avalon Bread locations coming to downtown.

    http://www.freep.com/story/money/bus...ight/81101876/

  15. #40

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    Looking forward to a great record store opening downtown. Third Man is nice, but they only sell TM-related releases. Downtown needs a beautiful new destination record store that sells everything. Think Reckless Records in Chicago or Amoeba in San Fran. With this city's musical heritage it's a natural...

  16. #41

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    JMPatrick, I have some bad news for you. There really aren't record stores anymore. Places that sell them now are either actually novelty shops (Third Man is in that category), or very old places that likely own their building outright. I bet you could count on one hand the number of new record stores in the US last year, and I bet that any that did were in the novelty category. This does not make me happy; I love browsing through albums and CDs. Even before I left NYC, there was almost nowhere to buy a record. The big emporiums and little used record shops were all closed. Barnes & Noble and Walmart still sell some music, but their selections have really withered, and will continue to do so. Why? People get their music digitally mostly now, of course. And those wanted it on CD or Vinyl shop faster and easier online, too. I'd love to be totally wrong, but the future ain't pretty for record shops.

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    JMPatrick, I have some bad news for you. There really aren't record stores anymore. Places that sell them now are either actually novelty shops (Third Man is in that category), or very old places that likely own their building outright. I bet you could count on one hand the number of new record stores in the US last year, and I bet that any that did were in the novelty category. This does not make me happy; I love browsing through albums and CDs. Even before I left NYC, there was almost nowhere to buy a record. The big emporiums and little used record shops were all closed. Barnes & Noble and Walmart still sell some music, but their selections have really withered, and will continue to do so. Why? People get their music digitally mostly now, of course. And those wanted it on CD or Vinyl shop faster and easier online, too. I'd love to be totally wrong, but the future ain't pretty for record shops.
    Sorry friend, but vinyl has seen a major revival the last couple years, with no signs of a reversal. I would say the trend is long term, as a direct result of the triumph of digital media. People want something physical they can own, not to mention the rich tradition of DJs spinning records. And although there won't be any record superstore revival, small shops are making headway. Just within the city we have Hello Records, People's Records, Paramita Sound and Detroit Threads all selling almost exclusively vinyl. That's almost one hand right there. If you aren't sure where to buy records in New York maybe you should use this thing called google, I heard it works great. *wink*

  18. #43

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    This is in one neighborhood only. Dozens more throughout the city. Vinyl is back in a big way.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2016...ve-wicker-park

  19. #44

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    I was going to write that it would be neat to see a suburban store open up a city store. But then I remembered record store aren't exactly money makers and I'm sure some barely make a profit if at all. The only way I envision a record store opening up would be if it was a specialty store that also sold vinyls, like Urban Outfitters.

    Also, the John Varvatos store actually has a small vinyl "department" upstairs.

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by illwill View Post
    This is in one neighborhood only. Dozens more throughout the city. Vinyl is back in a big way.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2016...ve-wicker-park


    God, where are all the people on this board screaming "Only Hipsters buy Vinyl! Take your beards and records and get the hell out of our city!"

  21. #46

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    Vinyl records are what I would certainly call a novelty. Let's revisit this topic in 5 years. Maybe 8 tracks will be in revival then.

  22. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    Vinyl records are what I would certainly call a novelty. Let's revisit this topic in 5 years. Maybe 8 tracks will be in revival then.
    We're 5 years into this novelty. Detroit will have two pressing plants by the end of this year. Despite the high price of new vinyl, sales have skyrocketed. Visit Third Man or Dearborn Music on a Saturday afternoon. The aisles are jammed and kids are buying records by the stack.

  23. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    Barnes & Noble and Walmart still sell some music, but their selections have really withered, and will continue to do so.
    Here's a recent shot of the withering vinyl section at Barnes & Noble in Livonia...

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    Last edited by jmpatrick; March-01-16 at 02:07 PM.

  24. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    The opening of a comic book store! It's these varied retail options that attract people. It also mentions the Kit + Ace, Nike, and Avalon Bread locations coming to downtown.

    http://www.freep.com/story/money/bus...ight/81101876/
    Finally. The first comic book store in Detroit proper in about 15 years. I remember in the late 90s there was a place in the former Trapper's Alley complex. Then when TA got bought the comic store moved to the Grand Circus Park area for a few years, then closed period.

  25. #50

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    YAY, Thank you Dan Gilbert!

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