Word on the Street
Topic du Jour: Borders
What should replace the former Borders Bookstore space at South Shore Center?
Michael Marx: Based on the kind of shopping we need outside of Alameda, as well as considering the needs of the total community, especially in this rough economic environment, I would recommend a store such as HomeGoods. This general home store sells what consumers are still buying today, at a price point that represents the new consumer emphasis on getting the best value for the money.
Dian McPherson: South Shore needs a serious anchor tenant that would attract the shoppers who drive all the way to Walnut Creek or San Francisco to buy quality retail goods. The entire near East Bay would respond to a well-rounded department store. I wish it were possible for them to reach out to a merchandiser that does not exist in northern California such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols, The Bon Marché, Marks & Spencer or an international brand that would inspire everyone to travel to South Shore as a destination. Actually, there is a wonderful group in China that is growing by leaps and bounds called Lane Crawford that would be perfect for an Alameda outpost superstore. Think what a splash that could be.
Henry Bowles: It should be converted into a day care center. The kids can run around different spaces on the ground floor, and the moms and dads can sip coffee and read books upstairs. For an extra fee, you can upgrade your membership and use the weight room.
Christina Brooks: Maybe an independent bookstore could use the space downstairs for shelf space and the upstairs for book club meetings, author visits or just quiet reading space.
Carmen Plaza de Jennings: The space vacated by Borders Bookstore should be used to diversify the retail offerings at the mall. Currently the mall has an abundance of discount retail stores, but no mid-level shops (e.g., Coldwater Creek, Container Store, Banana Republic) thereby limiting shopping options. As a result, nearby cities such as Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and Fourth Street in Berkeley are reaping the benefit of sales tax dollars that could otherwise stay in Alameda.