A Hidden Gem

Up until a month or so ago, I had not been to The Shops at Willow Bend mall in Plano. Judging by the number of shoppers in this mall, apparently I’m not the only one.

It was almost eerie at how few people there were roaming this place on a Saturday afternoon. The busiest store, by far, was the Apple Store, and even that one was semi-maneuverable. Even though Lord and Taylor will soon be closing, there’s still a Foley’s, Neiman’s, Saks and Dillard’s to round out the big department stores. The specialty shops lean more to women’s clothing, so if that’s your thing, you’d feel right at home.

On the down side, the food court is nothing to write home about. Todai Seafood Buffet is there, and looked to be the best place to try out for me next time. The rest is standard mall fare: Sbarro’s, Chick-fil-A, Sonic, a cheesesteak place, plus a Mexican grill and a few others, along with a Cinnabon (mmmm).

I’m just curious, though. Is this mall going to survive? Is it popular during the holidays? It’s been open for over three years now, and judging from what I’ve seen on two trips there, it can’t last for long at this rate.

I guess we better enjoy the hassle-free shopping while we can, huh? Check them out and post your thoughts in the comments. The mall is located on Park just west of the tollway in Plano.

4 Comments so far

  1. GEddieG (unregistered) on March 25th, 2005 @ 12:49 am

    Yep Alan. I live up in that direction and only visit Willow Bend for two reasons.

    One, it’s empty so parking is easy.

    Two, it’s got an Apple store, even though the service is remarkably poor there compared with the Knox Street location.

    No, the mall won’t make it. It has been on life support since the day it opened.

    Real simple marketing problem: There’s nothing interesting to make it a destination. Period.

    And Stonebriar opened around the same time.

  2. mja (unregistered) on March 25th, 2005 @ 10:14 am

    I’ve driven by it (twice) every work day since it opened and I’ve never felt the urge to stop. To be honest I’ve driven by Northpark at least as much during the same period and can count the number of times I stopped there on one hand.

  3. sean bonner (unregistered) on March 28th, 2005 @ 10:49 am

    Here’s an interesting side note – check out http://willowbendsucks.com/ for the details of how they spent the last 2 years suing a blogger over a domain name.

  4. Alan W (unregistered) on March 28th, 2005 @ 1:15 pm

    I almost feel like I’m going to get sued for asking whether the mall is going to survive or not! It almost makes you think they’d be getting what they deserve if it goes under. At any rate, the Taubman group is losing money hand over fist on that place – I’ve read articles where they’re having to offer tenants big incentives to stay in the mall, since most of them probably want to bolt.

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