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News Updates: September 2007

All updates from the month of September 2007 are listed below.

Neiman Marcus prepares for Saturday opening
Written by Justin on September 13, 2007 at 12:13AM
  • The MWDN was at a media tour of the Neiman Marcus store yesterday. Among the highlights of the 100,000 sq. ft. store: a $1.9 million dollar set of emerald earrings designed especially for the company's centennial this year. As the 39th store in the chain, it will feature a much more modern design than the store in Copley Place, and its cosmetics department will have items priced comparatively to other department stores - meaning you can walk out of the mall with an equally filled Neiman Marcus or Macy's bag and pay the same.
  • The paper has a nice video capturing the interior of the store, and, of course, a story, at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/x775708179.
Salad Creations now open at Collection
Written by Justin on September 13, 2007 at 12:04AM
Nordstrom gala pictures online
Written by Justin on September 9, 2007 at 12:25PM
More on the opening
Written by Justin on September 8, 2007 at 1:31PM
  • Some more news stories with shopper interviews have come online in the the past day.
  • The MetroWest Daily News seems to have discovered that the biggest store openings, by far, were the Apple Store and Nordstrom. While it was mainly a MetroWest crowd at the Apple Store (seeing that there are already somewhat-local stores in Chestnut Hill and Burlington), the Nordstrom grand opening pulled over 1,000 shoppers from East Walpole, Lynnfield, and Newburyport, and a General Growth executive mentioned in a Worcester Telegram article that he expects to see shoppers from points as far west as Springfield.
  • The stories are online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/x942963712 and http://www.telegram.com/article/20070908/NEWS/709080346/1116.
Natick Collection expansion now open!
Written by Justin on September 7, 2007 at 6:29PM
Local radio stations and WBUR examine the Collection
Written by Justin on September 7, 2007 at 12:03AM
  • Today's grand opening of the Natick Collection expansion is attracting some serious radio attention. WXKS (107.9 FM) "Kiss 108" will be at Nordstrom's Cosmetic Tailgate party later on this morning, while WBMX (98.5 FM) "Mix 98.5" will be stopping by Solstice Sunglass Boutique tonight.
  • But that's not all, as Curt Nickisch of local NPR affiliate WBUR (90.9 FM) has filed a story on the new upscale status of the Natick Collection. The story should be online sometime today at http://www.wbur.org/news/2007/70211_20070907.asp.
MWDN covers Nordstrom gala
Written by Justin on September 6, 2007 at 11:51PM
  • The MWDN has some limited details and a video of the Nordstrom gala held last night. Looks like an excess of runway shows, exotic perfumes from Norway, and a band performing J-Lo's "Let's Get Loud".
  • Judge for yourself; it's all online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/x942962349.
More details on new Cross store at Collection
Written by Justin on September 6, 2007 at 11:38PM
  • The publication Gifts & Decorative Accessories (yes, that actually is a publication) has some additional details on the new Cross store that will be opening in the expansion tomorrow. The compact 900 sq. ft. space includes a curved storefront that focuses on the corporate logo, featuring leather and fabric panels, ottomans, and  decorative lighting, while at the same time showcasing the company's newly expanded product line.
  • Gifts & Decorative Accessories covers the story at http://www.giftsanddec.com/article/CA6476324.html.
Nouvelle hoping for boost in sales with Collection opening
Written by Justin on September 6, 2007 at 1:23PM
  • With 30 of the 215 available condos sold and an opening expected next June, the Nouvelle at Natick sales crew is preparing to step up efforts with the opening of the upscale expansion tomorrow. A sales office has been opened next to Neiman Marcus, which will provide tours of a demonstration two bedroom (w/den), two bathroom unit located on the fourth floor. While none of the amenties like 24-hour security and doormen at both the north and south towers, the rooftop garden 'Parc Nouvelle', club room 'Club Nouvelle', and sports club 'Bosse Nouvelle' are complete, the demo unit may be enough to sway some buyers.
  • The MWDN has more at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/x477567525.
Party update.. and some blog issues
Written by Justin on September 6, 2007 at 1:09PM
  • The Globe's "Names" column focused on one of the biggest issues at last night's Nordstrom gala... whether MFA director Malcolm Rogers would use his credit card. More at http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2007/09/06/gone_gets_the_good_word/.
  • If you're headed out to the Natick Collection opening gala tonight, you'll be in the company of Natick selectman (and friend of F/NR) Josh Ostroff. Ostroff decided to splurge for the $125 tickets, but decided to pass on the $250 Neiman Marcus opening and the $350 'Fenway on the Runway' event. Regardless, tonight's event is predicted to be one of the largest social events in the western suburbs in recent years. And don't worry about parking; there will be plenty of $10 valet and $7 'premium' parking... whatever that might be. More at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/09/06/reborn_mall_opens_with_galas/.
  • And one last thing... for some reason, the Beyond Retail blog collapsed late last night. Not to worry, the entry I wrote today is online at http://beyond.framinghamnatickretail.com... be sure to check it out.
WCVB-TV's Chronicle to cover Natick Collection gala
Written by Justin on September 6, 2007 at 12:57AM
  • On the eve of the Natick Collection's grand opening, WCVB-TV (Ch. 5)'s nightly newsmagazine Chronicle will make it the lead story, with co-host Mary Richardson reporting live from the grand opening gala.
  • Catch it tonight, airing at 7:30pm on WCVB-TV. More details are online at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/chronicle/14012544/detail.html.
Pick your party!
Written by Justin on September 6, 2007 at 12:38AM
  • The Boston Herald's online entertainment section recently focused on the three biggest parties in MetroWest these days...
  • Nordstrom Opening Gala
    • Date: Yesterday, September 5, started at 6:30PM
    • Description: Two runway shows, raw bar, lobster, and extensive local beers on hand.
    • Price: $150 per person, benefiting the MFA and Boston Ballet
  • Natick Collection Opening Gala
    • Date: Today, starting at 6:30PM
    • Description: Assorted events follow the mall's themes of Hip, Luxurious, Inspired, and Unique. Most interesting? Possibly the DJ on stilts.
    • Price: $125, benefiting The Children's Hospital League and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism
  • Neiman Marcus Opening Gala
    • Date: September 14
    • Description: Dallas' DJ Lucy Wrubell spins tunes, guests will be able to try on nearly $2 million earrings, and a converted men's department becomes a sports bar for the Red Sox/Yankees game.
    • Price: $250, benefiting TCAN, the DeCordova Museum in Concord, the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care, and the Walden Woods Project.
  • More details at http://news.bostonherald.com/entertainment/fashion/view.bg?articleid=1029345 and http://www.bostonmagazine.com/blogs/boston/2007/09/05/the-last-word-16/.
Natick Collection expansion to open Friday
Written by Justin on September 2, 2007 at 8:22PM
  • With the Natick Collection expansion only five days away from opening, a plethora of information has been released about the mall.
  • The MetroWest Daily News starts out speaking with General Growth representatives and local retail analysts about the effect that the center's new retailers and restaurants will have on shopping in Massachusetts. The article also mentions how several international retailers, including Canada's Fruits & Passion, are utilizing the Natick Collection as a prototype for future American stores.
  • The paper also discusses the parking scenario at the Collection, regarding how the 5,800 mainly surface parking spots have been replaced with over 8,000 spaces found mostly underground and in parking garages. Initially, a combination of AlliedBarton security officers and Natick police will help shoppers navigate the massive retail project, but long-term, the mall hopes to set up an electronic system to help shoppers find empty parking spaces. The parking lots and garages have also been renamed: the former Parking Garage A is now known as Amethyst, Garage C is now Topaz, the proposed Deck D in front of Nordstrom is now the Ruby lot, the proposed Deck E beneath the new corridor is now split between Sapphire, Ruby, Canary Diamond, and Emerald; and the new Garage F behind J.C. Penney is now Amber.
  • We also learn from the MetroWest Daily News that Legal Sea Foods is officially out of the plans, but it has nothing to do with the mall. For the second time, liquor restrictions in the Town of Natick have effectively prohibited Legal's from opening an "oyster bar", as the town requires restaurants to have no more than 10% of all seating to be at the bar; with the restaurant consisting only of a bar, it would not be allowed. Regardless, three restaurants will be opening on Friday with the mall: Sel de la Terre, Finale Dessert, and Met Bar & Grill. P.F. Chang's China Bistro and The Cheesecake Factory are slated to open later, although no dates for either of these have been set; further, The Cheesecake Factory will be part of "The Promenade", the Collection's "Main Street"-style expansion, rather than part of the upscale expansion.
  • Meanwhile, the Boston Globe put out an interesting piece on what will become Nordstrom's first Massachusetts store. Despite the nearest store being in Providence, there are already 50,000 Nordstrom credit card holders in a 50-mile radius of Natick. Perks within the store will include a men's grooming studio, a 90-seat restaurant, an eyebrow bar, and a sunglass boutique. From the newspaper:
    • "This has been such a long time coming," said Peter Nordstrom, the company's president of merchandising and brother to chain president Blake. "There's something special and different about this. It's not just another store opening."
    • (Nordstrom's words have meaning: a Nordstrom was slated to be part of a re-built Shopper's World in 1989, 18 years ago)
  • The Globe also takes a tour of the new store at http://www.boston.com/business/gallery/083107_nordstrom/.
  • And speaking of Nordstrom, it seems to beckon a lot of company in every mall where it opens. Namely, Hanna Andersson and Martin + Osa. Find out more at http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/09/02/trickle_down_effect_at_the_natick_mall/.
  • It hasn't been easy for the new retailers to find employees. Nearly every store that will open is drawing from the same limited pool of qualified employees, according to the manager of the mall's new Brighton Collectables store. She has had to resort to asking customers to at the company's Burlington store to join the company. Luckily for the manager of the new Cross store, the company will close their Chestnut Hill store to open a store at the Collection, so three employees from that store will transfer over. While the mall attempted to help with several job fairs, they didn't bring out the sales wizzes that smaller retailers were looking for. Further, with Neiman Marcus and a very aggressive Nordstrom (which will need to staff Burlington in only a few months) needing many employees, the situation is much harder is far worse than many managers expected. The full story is at http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2007/09/01/good_help_is_hard_to_find/.
  • Stay tuned for more updates this week as stories are released. And don't forget to check the countdown clock page, where an updated list of tenants has been placed.

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