Earlier this summer, I managed to find the perfect place to live.
It looks a bit like a film set for a movie located in the UK.3 brand-new, spacious stories, complete with nearby cafÃ©, outdoor veranda, glorious fountain views and distinctive, unique stores as close to my front door as most people’s mailboxes.
I’m obviously talking about the view from Barnes & NobleT at The Americana at Brand “shopping center” in downtown Glendale, Ca.
(My monthly rent and utilities are still in negotiation, of course, but I’ll keep you posted.)
This is so much more than simply shopping. Visitors come from around the world to experience outdoor entertainment, music, theatre, and the aforementioned central fountain. Oh, and did I mention 75 stores?
Caruso Affiliated opened Americana at Brand in April 2007 as a lifestyle center, versus the typically crowded, ’80s-esque shopping mall. (Caruso also did The Grove in L.A. They’re working on another project now.)
My trip to Americana got me thinking.
First . where to locate my workstation: Bookstore, cafÃ© or the comfy couches in Anthrolpologie?*
Second . the ‘merchandising’ bar is being raised. Malls are finding inspiration in theme parks, cruises, resorts and spas. In fact, it seems things have come full circle. Downtown became indoor mall, became strip mall, became lifestyle center . that looks like a downtown!
Where do you find your inspiration? What do you do to help customers have an out-of-the-ordinary experience when they interact with your organization?
And, if I don’t respond immediately, I apologize. It’s probably because I’m strolling beneath the outdoor chandelier (yes, it’s real glass.) at The Americana at Brand. Or, check the Barnes & Noble veranda. I might be there sipping a nice cup of tea.