I realize that this may not be a popular opinion, but I believe that Mayfair Mall needs a makeover.
Yes, seemingly everyone is excited about the arrival Nordstrom. And, how can you not be? It's a great store with amazing service, tradition and selection. It's one of a kind in the department store game. I do an annual trip to Old Orchard, and Nordstrom is the reason why. So, of course, I'm excited to have one a bit closer.
But, when it comes to the overall shopping experience that Mayfair offers I think the Wauwatosa mall is outdated and stuck in its indoors rut that really sucks the life and fun out of going there.
The parking is horrible, there are no real streets or standard way finding and it's really just a bunch of stores under a roof. It needs to be turned inside out.
I grew up at Mayfair, caddied at adjacent Bluemound Country Club, and spent hundreds of hours and dollars there every summer. But today I don't go there; maybe once a year to see a movie (if the showtime is convenient) but never to shop.
Full disclosure, I finally saw "Argo" last weekend at AMC Mayfair. It was great, by the way. But Mayfair's need for a makeover really struck me as we were leaving. Sure, it was busy and it's full of good stores, but the feel there is so much different than at Bayshore Town Center or an Old Orchard-type center.
I don't think – with or without Nordstrom – that Mayfair will have the staying power without a more open space design that feels more city-like, more friendly and more inviting. Retail development thrives on density, design, diversity and a sense of discovery. Mayfair has all of this, but within its outdated enclosed mall shell it is really limited and stale. Turing it inside out and opening the mall up could help.
Agree? Is it time for a Mayfair makeover?
General Growth Properties which owns Mayfair, also owns Water Tower Place (indoors and a delight to shop at), Northbrook Courtrt (indoors), and Oakbrook (outdoors, but well designed unlike Bay Shore) Oakbrook doesn't have streets running through it like Bay Shore does. That ruins the shopping experience....Since General Growth owns all of these high profile and successful malls they know what they are doing. Jeff had made mention of the "discovery" process at Bay Shore and I just pointed out that it isn't fun shopping with cars when you are a pedestrian. I am sorry that you are so sensitive to well thought critiques of Bay Shore. But with the revenue per square foot Mayfair trounces Bay Shore. More people shop at Mayfair because it is more pleasant, better shops, no dodging of cars, and no freezing on a 14 degree day like today. Oh and they attracted Nordstrom..
If Mayfair is so great, why do you need to put down Bayshore? Insecure much?
General Growth Properties owns Water Tower Place, Oakbrook (outdoor), and Northbrook Court. Arguably the three top Shopping Malls in all of Chicago (and Illinois) for that matter. Is it any wonder that they have been able to build Mayfair into the highest revenue generating mall in Wisconsin? Or that they where able to attract Nordstrom? Or that they will continue to attract the highest level of stores to Wauwatosa? They will be remodling the mall in anticipation of Nordstrom's only entry into the Wisconsin marketplace and will have other major retailers continue to move in.
The picture of "Nothing fun about these walkways" at Mayfair is kind of funny. That will be the new entrance from Nordstrom into Mayfair Mall. How come Nordstrom isn't on your list of favorite things list? Is it really too much to give props to the westside?
Bay Shore has no sense of discovery, just poorly planned "streets" with metered parking and blasts of cold air and virtually no shops for men. The section fo the mall that connects to Sears is very lovely....maybe Bay Shore will find some money to eventually remodel this Northridge-looking remnant.....
Bay Shore has one interesting mens shop, Brooks Brothers. Between Restoration Hardware, the best staffed and selection of any Banana Republic in the state, J. Crew, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Macys, the best kids stores in one convenient and warm location, Mayfair has Bay Shore beat any day. You can easily park close to the doors at Mayfair, without having to purchase UnderArmour to try to battle the elements in Glendale.
Coupled with inconvenient parking at Bay Shore 9including meters....I mean really? This isn't Chciago thank god), hardly any stores for men, freezing while you shop and delusional North Shore residents scratching their head about the fact that Crate & Barrel and Nordstrom are being located on the west side and it is easy to see why so many people avoid Bay Shore.
Is Bay Shore ever going to remodel the part of the mall that connects to Sears? It reminds me of the now defunct Northridge Mall.I guess they ran out of money when they redeveloped Bay Shore.
Demographically the west side has 60% of the wealth and the major purchasing power. Crate & Barrel and Nordstrom did extensive research on the zip codes of customers from Wisconsin, revenue per square foot (Where Mayfair trounced Bay Shore), the percentage of high end stores (Again Mayfair trounced Bay Shore), and the highest percentage of high income households (Westside trounced the North Shore by a huge margin) and that is why Nordstrom is coming to Mayfair. When you combine Crate & Barrels move years ago, the new Container Store and Nordstrom Rack it is easy to see that Wauwatosa is on a major retailer upswing. The city is also going to streetscape the east side of North Avenue and there is talk of IKEA moving to Wauwatosa. There will also be other major announcements in the near future for Mayfair and the Westside along with Mayfair getting an extensive remodeling before Nordstrom moves in. I know that the east side and North Shore residents dont understand why there isnt the same attention given by major retailers to their side of town (it is called demographics, household income, purchasing power and lack of high end stores in their area), but luckily for them 1-94 does head straight west out of downtown to zip code 53226. Happy Shopping!
Show me the other 5 Talkbacks
10 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Aug. 21, 2014
To celebrate Debra Usinger's life and her dedication to civic life in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee RiverWalk District initiated and yesterday dedicated a memorial to honor her. The memorial is, appropriately, part of the RIverWalk that is directly across the river from Usinger's Famous Sausage.
Published Aug. 20, 2014
I don't need to remind you that fall is coming. Hopefully, it's several weeks away but the nights are surely getting cooler so thoughts turn to longer sleeves. Thankfully, I have this 414 crew fleece from Too Much Metal in my closet.
Published Aug. 20, 2014
For me, Milwaukee is Milwaukee and we should be darn proud of it. But a comparison to Portland isn't bad and it's exactly what Richard Manning of OnEarth.org writes today on Salon.com.
Published Aug. 18, 2014
Esquire is talking about Milwaukee again. This time it's Milwaukee dining costs. A reader from Milwaukee asked about meal prices and Esquire's Josh Ozersk threw down a great, Milwaukee-laced answer even adding that we have some of "the cheapest fine-dining places in America."
Published Aug. 18, 2014
There's your favorite celebrity. What do you do? Ask for an autograph? Nope. You whip out your phone, if it's not already in hand and take a selfie with him or her. It's the way the world. But, is it the best financial move?
Published Aug. 14, 2014
Since I haven't eaten at The Fast Foodie in a few months, I decided to reach out to owner Jackie Valent and ask her a few questions about her business, the state of the food truck business in Milwaukee and other things.
Published Aug. 13, 2014
Today, the OnMilwaukee.com Shop Local marketplace offers a cool summer item, the official MilwaukeeHome stainless steel water bottle.
Published Aug. 12, 2014
Dave Begel's latest list, of course, was well read, shared and discussed. It also led to others creating similar lists. One came from Alex Runner. Via Facebook, Runner, a former aid to Ald. Willie Hines, current blogger and civic leader, posted his take on MKE's most important people. I asked him if we could share it, so here it is.
Published Aug. 7, 2014
Via drone, here's a cool fly over Downtown, the St. Francis Seminary, area lakes and other parts of the city. It's done by Darrell Boeck from Creative Images.
Published Aug. 6, 2014
Maps have become art. Really, who uses a paper map anymore? Sure, maybe you have one for back up for the long trip across the country but the phone has definitely replaced the old school folded map. Here's one, though, that would look great on your wall.