Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Business Plan That Failed

Here in my local town, we have a mini-mall named the Lilian Carre.  About twenty years ago on this lot....sat the Wiesbaden Post Office.  It was a fine to the train station, and highly valued.  Some guys worked up a deal and the property was sold, and the old post office was torn down.

Some might argue that the building was historic in nature and should have been kept and renovated for the future purpose....but this is not the kind of town where old buildings get priority.

So, the Lilian Carre mall project started up.  They had a grand design, a perfect location (next to a major bus stop in town and across from the train station), and offered both rooftop and basement parking.  The idea was to toss around fifty business operations into the structure, and it would just take off.

Well....probably within three years of opening....some shops had come and gone.  There was an indication of limited customers.

Why? The idea was that train passengers coming back home from Frankfurt or where ever they were....would take a few minutes and step into the mall to spend money.  That idea.....wasn't true.  The business plan circled around these upscale workers from Frankfurt businesses....spending money, and it just wasn't going to be that frequent.

I stepped into the Lilien Carre today.  The three magnets of the mall are Saturn (an electronics shop), Toys-R-Us, and a fitness studio.  Beyond that...sixty-percent of the shop fronts are shut down.  There's only one restaurant left open, with two coffee shops, and a few oddball shops.

Out front, there's a sign noting a big change in management and a new possible business plan.  A major grocery is putting in the largest grocery store of it's the Lilien Carre, and there's indications of some renovation in 2017, with a big new re-opening in 2018 (two years away).

Oddly, there's no pubs, wine cafes, or movie theaters associated with the mall.  There's not much reason to hang out around the place after work except for the Starbucks coffee shop which has a nice quiet presence but thrives in the morning hours (I can attest to).

What you can generally say is that they had most everything going in their favor, and the business plan just didn't match up to reality over the train station passengers.  The odds that this 2018 business plan will work?  I would have my doubts.  They need some kind of night scene that draws people to come out....socialize....and utilize the bus network to go back home.

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