Knowing His Place
Mall designer Henry Beer gives new meaning to the term "regional
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.