Review: Palisades Center

15 Jan

West Nyack, New York. USA.

Quick Review

In theory, this should be an amazing mall. It has a great mix of anchors –major department stores JC Penney, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor; discount department stores Burlington Coat Factory and Target; big box retailers Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Best Buy, international fashion leaders CottonOn, Uniglo and H&M; and entertainment anchors Dave & Buster’s and a major movie theater. According to the Wikipedia, Palisades Center «is one of the most lucrative malls;» in the USA and its eight largest.

But I should have suspected that something was amiss that the mall promoted its remaking, less than 15 years after it opened. A solid mall continually adjusts its store ; but a makeover of its entire image occurs far less frequently. A makeover sooner suggests more serious issues.

Those larger problems become evident immediately upon entry to the mall; The place is dreary; definitely not a place to linger.

We entered through a JC Penney entrance. The story looked like it hadn’t received a new coat of paint since its opening well over a decade ago. The dowdy look is all the more surprising in light of the fact that the chain remodelled all of its stores in the past year to make way for an entirely new home department.

But I understood why after entering the main mall. Although cavernous in size (4 levels high), lighting was on the darker side and the fixtures look mid- to late-B-grade mall from the 1990s. This outdated, dark look is most noticeable in the food court, which has uninviting stationary white metal chairs and tables. Except for Saladworks and Subway, the selection of options guarantees business for a cardiologist.

If JC Penney looked out of date, one could easily write that off as a casualty of the serious economic problems facing the retailer. But that does not explain why Macy’s and Lord and Taylor look equally out-of-date: dingy look, dingy merchandise strewn all over the place, and a serious lack of customer service staff. Shorthanded Macy’s found itself with long lines at the one in four registers that appeared to be open. and (And of course, I stood in the line where the customer service representative had no idea how to solve the customer’s problem.) In Lord and Taylor, several cash registers were empty while the few staff on the floor gossiped with one another, occasionally pretending to fold shirts to place back on the display.

Most disappointing of all, however, was the fact that—despite the promise of a new look in 2013—the mall looked as if its landlord and retailers had collectively neglected it all year, and the likelihood of unveiling much-needed improvements fell from slim to none with fewer than 10 days till the end of the year.

Fast Facts about the Mall
Anchors: Bed, Bath and Beyond; Best Buy, B.J.s Wholesale Club, Burlington Coat Factor, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JC Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, New York Sports Club, and Target.National chains: Abercrombie and Fitch, Aeropostale, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and all its Gap Inc, cousins, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Express (and many of its Limited, Inc, cousins), Gymboree, H&M,Levis, Lenscrafters, Papyrus, Radio Shack, and UnigloVariety of merchandise: Good.

Special notes:

Just off Exit 12 of NY Interstate 87/287

Large underground parking lot that’s especially popular during high-traffic times.

Despite claims of a “new” mall, looks seriously in need of a makeover.

Food court: Masssive in size, minimal in selection.  (Standards like Nathans, Saladworks, Subway, and second-tier Asian choices.)

Also check out the restaurant row on the top floor.  Includes Tony Roma’s, IHOP, MacDonald’s, and other medium-low and low-end chains.

Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palisades_Center

Website: http://www.palisadescenter.com/

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