No risk. No reward.

The Last Shopping Mall? New Jersey Awaits Xanadu By Sean Gregory (Time Magazine, Monday, 09 March 2009 East Rutherford, NJ). It’s easy to fall victim to the mood of the moment and immediately jump into Mr Gregory’s (half-empty) pool of skepticism. But let’s hold that thought for the moment and try to see the light.

It’s true, the shopping landscape is saturated with me-too chains, cookie cutter malls, etc. Was there really any difference between Linens & Things and BB&B? Or what about Circuit City and Best Buy? Borders continues to struggle, etc.  Needless to say Xanadu is attempting to make their destination about more than just shopping. They want to build an experience that stands out from the typical. Something that inspire people to take a 25 minute train ride out of the NYC to come visit.  Have they put a lot of money down to test their theory? Obviously, yes. But their vision is their brand and their brand is their vision. It’s not going to be easy – it never is – but it beats being a developer who just finished up yet another strip mall and is now trying to find tenants. Just like every other developer in that same boat.

Bottom line… The last thing the world needs is just another run of the mill guest experience.

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