It’s no secret that I am single and young (in my mind), and with that comes a fervent passion for all things shopping. I wouldn’t call myself materialistic, but when it comes to new clothes, department stores and boutiques, I find myself one of America’s great consumers—always on the lookout for something new and better to wear.
So when I heard the news that Valley Fair was planning a large expansion in January 2009 and would be adding high-end stores Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, my initial reaction was of both elation and fear, and then annoyance. The elation comes from two stores that are usually reserved for “Shallow Alto” or San Francisco residents, and now they are coming to our Podunk, million-resident town? Golly Gee! Then fear immediately comes on elation’s heels as I realize I don’t have the income to back up my love of shopping and fashion items. Ugh.
After those two emotions set in, I began to become annoyed that they are expanding in an area that is already too crowded. Have you ever tried to park at Valley Fair or Santana Row on a weekend? Have you ever tried to exit Stevens Creek Boulevard from 880? It’s probably easier entering downtown Beijing.
What about the fact that this is an area that has too much already? How about spreading the wealth? All of the debate about downtown retail has centered on the fact that you need a department store anchor to start any new development. How many shops do you think would locate downtown if they knew Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s were going to be the cornerstones of a new revitalized retail offering? It seems everything is done the easy way around here instead of having foresight, vision and innovation.
So I am sure I will be there when these two stores open, but I will probably be a bit exasperated from the traffic and the prospect of spending money. But I would be much happier spending those dollars downtown!