Knowing His Place

May 1998


Knowing His Place

Mall designer Henry Beer gives new meaning to the term "regional mall"

If you think all malls look alike, you've never been in one designed by Henry Beer. The mall designer creates themes using the sights, sounds and, yes, smells associated with particular areas of the country. In a recent article The Wall Street Journaldubbed him "the mall world's king of ersatz regional flavor." His company, Communication Arts Inc., is based in Boulder, CO.

"At a time when malls everywhere look like they were stamped out with a cookie-cutter, Mr. Beer preaches that shopping centers must do a better job reflecting a community's personality," The Journalsays.

The strategy seems to work. Beer redesigned the retail space around Boston's Prudential Center, imparting a sense of the city's famously narrow streets, and sales tripled to $600 per foot. Sales at another Beer concoction, the Park Meadows shopping center south of Denver, CO, were an impressive $430 per foot in its first year. There, fake pine-needle scent and security guards dressed in park-ranger outfits are meant to evoke the West's wide open spaces.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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