15 May 2013

All Mallmanac - The Galleria, Edina, MN

The Minneapolis suburb of Edina is probably best known for being the home of the Southdale Center, widely regarded as the United States' first modern shopping mall. But right across the street from the old ground-breaker is another innovation in retail, The Galleria.

Not particularly attractive on the inside or the outside, The Galleria is best known throughout the Cities as being the more upscale companion to the mid-market Southdale. Like the "lifestyle" centers that would come decades later, there are no traditional anchors. Instead, the developers rely on an upmarket mix of retailers such as Tiffany's and Louis Vitton, as well as a medley of distinct restaurants to attract their target demographic. It was truly avant-garde as it was built during a time when malls were dependent on major department stores, with the average center being designed with four or five full-line anchors.

 
The Galleria Mallmanac ca. 2000. View the full PDF version here.

The Galleria was built by Gabbert's Furniture Store in 1976, which is considered to be the mall's sole anchor. In 2004, a system was launched where patrons could avail of a gift registry encompassing all merchants in the mall, the first of its kind in the nation. With these progressive ideas and a concept ahead of its time which just happens to be the preferred tenant mix for today's consumer, it's no wonder that The Galleria is out drawing even the venerable old Southdale. For the sake of retail history, however, I hope that both can survive.

The Galleria's official website

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