The model would look more like a UPS or FedEx truck today -- one (presumably self-driving) delivery truck driving from stop to stop with one or two package-handling drones to unload and deliver at each stop. To your point, use the best vehicle with the most consolidation along the shortest route.
I suspect we are missing the mark in talking about Millennials -- Lee's comment about it being "touristy" is closer - this move is perfect perfect for small international tour groups coming to NYC and wanting to combine iconic attractions with high-end shopping for one-of-a-kind merchandise not available in Hong Kong, London or Dubai.
Byerly's restaurant & coffee shop was open till midnight or even later (possibly even 24 hours?) when I was in college in the 1980s, long after the store had closed -- quality food at a reasonable price from their in-house catering department, great coffee, a solid place for families, late-night study sessions, or taking a date....Come to think of it, I had a few early-morning meetings there too!
The Wahlburger connection I don't get: it's an East Coast establishment. "Coastal Elites" don't play too well in the putative Heartland - but we will go all-out for our home-grown chains. Why they didn't go for MyBurger, Culver's or even Runza (for a Nebraskan twist) is puzzling. Local ownership + local farmers + local recipes = the opposite of Walmart and something Midwesterners will wholeheartedly support.
I assumed this was entirely about selling merchandise and burnishing brand loyalty to their fanatically-devoted Asian customer base. Make enough SKUs and downloads "available in NYC only" and you have a tailor-made tour bus stop.
For kids, there's not one whit of difference in the cut of jeans/khakis. Polo shirts, t-shirts, socks, belts, backpacks likewise should all be housed in between the "girls" and "boys" sections. Plenty of demand for NASA-themed clothing on both sides of the kids' clothing department, as we discussed here a few weeks ago! And Hasbro is even tweaking their My Little Pony design licensing, noting the continued strength of that brand among "bronies" of all ages :)
For visitors from overseas during the holidays, the BOPIS service will be appreciated & a pick-up can fit in with sightseeing around town. But Toys "R" Us will need to be creative in getting the word out to tourists!
Southdale in fact had a big Red Owl grocery store when it opened! However, there's a very impressive Lund's as well as a SuperTarget and a Cub Foods within a couple minutes' bike ride. But the on-site restaurants (many with outside entrances) really should consider how to site and fulfill a prepared-meal location more convenient to where the LifeTime patrons will be moving through!
Up here in the North, however, in the ever-dark between November and March, there is an appeal to getting out of the isolation of our houses and being somewhere bright, warm, with other people, and getting exercise, perhaps go out to dinner, and maybe pick up groceries on the way home. (If we could put a heated dome over the Minneapolis Lakes you bet we'd be there every night!)Really this development (and hotel tie-in, and government services center) brings Southdale so much closer to Victor Gruen's original vision: he was bitterly disappointed that the mall ended up being only about commerce and not about community.
One could see this technology as enabling the rebirth of regional retailing, where local merchants collaborate with local tastemakers and producers for city-specific apparel. Not just "I heart [your town here]" or "[your sportsball team here]" t-shirts and caps, but thoughtfully designed pieces that speak to the cultural weave of the place and its climate.Our needs in Minneapolis for managing cold and heat are different from Atlanta and, we'd argue, even distinct from Chicago for instance, so the properties of the cloth we use should be different. Walk through our local craft fairs and you'll see bold, exciting patterns handcrafted by artisans from new-immigrant communities: they would sell here in higher-end places as well but not in other cities. Our ecosystem of producers like Red Wing Shoes and Faribault Woolen Mills is well-suited for the challenge.Finally, with enough size and preference data for local shoppers, a wise merchant would be able to better estimate demand for specific pieces and buy smarter on short production runs: digital tools don't have to apply to just one-by-one manufacturing.