From the mid-1900s into the 21st century, Americans became increasingly more avid shoppers. There developed a “mall culture,” where a real diversity of ages and stages frequented retail stores on a regular basis, not just to do the obvious (shop), but to socialize, date, eat, etc.
While old-timers in this valley joke about the days when Kmart was the only chain store for miles, by the time the City of Santa Clarita was founded there was a burgeoning retail presence to meet the needs of its booming population. As prosperity rose, retail sales rose, but what happened when the recession hit a few years ago? Business theory would predict a metamorphosis for malls, just as other companies have had to adjust.
Santa Clarita Living Magazine turned to Westfield Valencia Town Center Marketing Director Stacie C. House, to see what changes have been made for local residents.
SCL: With the struggling economy of the last few years, did Westfield Valencia businesses experience any slowing?
SCH: The downturn certainly had an impact on retail as with other industries. Despite the recession Westfield moved forward with development of the Patios, which we proudly opened in 2010. The addition of new premium retailers such as Sephora, Free People, Apple, M. Fredric, BCBG MaxAzria and more, coupled with a beautiful outdoor lifestyle element serves as a centerpiece for the community and visitors to socially connect while exploring our diverse collection of stores, restaurants and entertainment options.
SCL: What have been the biggest changes over the last five years? Over the last year?
SCH: Retail as an industry is ever-changing. As shopper behaviors and accessibility to information evolves, providing a streamlined and dynamic guest experience across all consumer touch points is critical to our growth and success. Westfield strives to transform the
face of retail by offering the best shopping centers around the world while integrating fashion, food, leisure, entertainment and digital technology with the world’s leading retail brands. Where we’re going as a company and how we are influencing the industry is extraordinary.
SCL: Has “The Patios” had any unpredictable outcomes? (Has it gone in any different direction than intended?)
SCH: The Patios has leased up beautifully. The blend of a robust tenant mix and state-of-the-art lifestyle amenities, such as the outdoor children’s play space, have captured the essence of the Santa Clarita lifestyle as well as the attention of additional premium brands looking to join our retail family. We are excited to welcome new tenants on The Patios this year including LYFE Kitchen, Solita, and CA Fish Grill.
SCL: Which are the most popular/successful stores and sections of the mall?
SCH: The Center is undeniably multi-purpose in that it is commonly many things to one person. Situated in the heart of our community, the Center is the go-to place for mom when she needs to grab something for the kids, home to the latest fashion trends, a social hub to connect with friends, and serves as a destination to many travelers. Each fragment of Westfield Valencia Town Center contributes to our overarching goal of providing the best individual guest experience possible.
SCL: Why did the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association change locations?
SCH: It has been a treat having the Artists’ Association here on a temporary basis at Westfield Valencia Town Center. They have added an engaging energy to Town Center Drive. We worked in partnership with the Artists’ Association to relocate them in an effort to accommodate a new tenant joining us on Town Center Drive this fall.
What changes can we expect in the next year?
Go to www.santaclaritalife.com and click on the “Tell Me More” tab to see what Stacie House can tell us about changes at Westfield Valencia. There is one very popular clothing store arriving soon…
The Westfield Valencia Town Center is located at 24201 West Valencia Blvd. in Valencia.