Tag

shopping

Short Pump Town Center To Get Hotel

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You’ve probably seen that huge crane overshadowing Short Pump Town Center (on the back side adjacent to Dick’s Sporting Goods) for a week or two now and might have wondered what’s going on. I did a little digging and found out that a six-story Hotel Sierra is being constructed. I guess mall management wasn’t lying when they said this is a regional mall that draws from all over the state; so much so that people will stay overnight after shopping. It seems a little out of place, but looks very nice architecturally. Kudos to the construction crews for starting work the week before Christmas, by the way. Half of the back entrance parking is blocked off by concrete barricades and chain-link fencing and the already overflowing parking lot that time of year was twice as horrendous. You’d think they’d just wait until around now, after holiday traffic has subsided.

Hotel Sierra (who recently changed their name from Sierra Suites to their current one) is a small chain of hotels priding themselves on “comfortable luxury, inspired design, and fresh service.” The hotel is scheduled to open in Spring 2009. I’ll be interested to see how they do at the mall.

Shopping = DEATH!

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So our family friend from Charlottesville, Sue, stayed with us last night and the night before after coming down for our Christmas party. As you could imagine, there’s not a whole lot of places to shop in Charlottesville. It’s not the boondocks, but there’s a lot more places in Short Pump. So naturally, Sue wanted to do some Christmas shopping while she was down here. Her and my mom were going to go, but I decided to go along too because I really hadn’t bought much of anything for the people I planned on buying for this year.

As a side note, it’s important to realize that guys don’t shop. We hunt, we gather, we buy. If we must enter the doors of a retail building, we are there on a mission and know exactly what we want. We’re not there to leisurely browse through aisle after aisle looking for “cute shoes” or a “trendy top.” Don’t get in our way because we’re making a beeline for the thing we want to purchase and then we’re getting out and going forth with our lives.

Anyway, I could almost feel my soul being sucked right out of my body after hours of this thing they call shopping. I think it’s some kind of natural reaction you hear about from caveman days where your body just shuts itself down as a preventative measure when you are exposed to such preposterous things as “buy one get one free” sales and “blue light specials.”

Where did we go? Well, here’s the complete rundown: Ben Franklin, Grapevine II for lunch, Men’s Wearhouse, CompUSA, Kohl’s, Dollar Tree, Barnes & Noble, Hallmark, H&M, American Eagle, New York & Company, Urban Outfitters, Firebird’s for dinner, Circuit City, and Starbucks.

Yes, I made the best of it and got a good amount of stuff for friends and family, and yes, it was good to see Sue and spend the day with her and my mom, but I was worn out by the end of the day. I do feel good that I actually put some time and thought into my gifts this year and didn’t opt for the typical present of gift cards that I often get.

Merry Tossmas!

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Retailers send out all sorts of “holiday” catalogs and have numerous “holiday” displays, but few if any have anything to say about Christmas. Over 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, and I don’t think the other 10% would be offended. The only group retailers are offending is the vast majority that celebrate Christmas. Stuart Shepard shows us in this video the special holiday he’s created in his household just for the retailers.

Short Pump Sprawl Rant

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Any of you that know me pretty well know I run a local history website (I’m in the process of revamping it now, and it looks so bad at the moment I don’t even want to link it right now). I’ve watched the development of Short Pump from a tiny rural village eleven years ago to the sprawling suburban hot spot it now is. Sure, it’s great that those of us who live in the Far West End have pretty much everything we could want and need within a few miles of us, but it’s just gotten ridiculous lately.

Take for example the shopping center that’s opening up this weekend, Short Pump Station. It’s the one that was just completed across the street from Target. Next time you’re driving down West Broad Street, take a look at it. Notice how there’s ten or fifteen retail spaces for lease in the center, and only four are leased as of now. Why are developers building these shopping centers when there is no demand? Obviously, as the old saying goes, if you build it, they will come. Yes, this is true, they will eventually fill up the entire place with tenants, but look at what’s there thus far:

1) A Verizon Wireless store. Are you kidding me? There are five (count them… FOUR) Verizon stores within a one mile radius of this new store! There’s one in Best Buy, Circuit City, Short Pump Town Center, and on Broad next to For Eyes. I can somewhat understand when Starbucks puts a store on every corner, but a cell phone store? That’s insane.

2) Petco. I like animals… shoot, I have four cats. But what’s the need? I know we have a PetSmart right down the road, so it’s only natural that their competition would move in, but seriously.

3) Five Below. I’ve been to one of these stores up at Patomac Mills in Northern Virginia. What is it, you ask? Basically take the Made-In-China crap they sell at Dollar Tree and add a few “nicer” items, up to five bucks. There you have it. It’s geared towards teens and young people on a tight budget, but it’s still crap. We already have a Wal-Mart across the street for that.

The empty shopping center trend continues as you go west of the mall to Towne Center West, which opened this summer (pictured at top, left).

Next to Short Pump Station, West Broad Village is now under construction. Despite “planned traffic improvements” that Henrico County talks about all the time, it’s still going to be even more of a nightmare than ever to drive through Short Pump when it’s all completed.

But rest assured, all you Verizon customers, you’ll always have five cell phone stores within walking distance of each other that you can stroll between when you get stuck in gridlock traffic for three hours and abandon your car on Broad Street.

Black Friday 2007

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I can’t believe I forgot to post this. On Black Friday, I went out to get some deals at 3:45 AM and made a stupid little video about it just for fun. It’s poorly-formatted for YouTube and filmed on my digital camera, but hey, it’s just for laughs. Check it out.