Palm Desert, CA
Yet another store closes on El Paseo and this time it’s J-Crew, adding to the already vacant spaces on the luxury strip. Normally, store owners on El Paseo get more nervous when they hear that yet another shop has closed, but not Elyssa Goldburg, owner of BG’s El Paseo.
"When I drive down the street or walk down the street, I don’t see the plethora of empty stores. I see blocks of lights, and people, and brightness."
A brightness that some may think is dimming, given that El Paseo has a 10% vacancy rate.
"I am an independent owner, I’ve been on the streets for years. I don’t think that we’ve seen independents closing, so I think it’s just the larger brands who are moving on in different directions."
Consequently, while many stores are leaving El Paseo, Elyssa doesn’t see this as a closed door, she she’s it as an opportunity for growth.
"I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing. I see it as an opportunity to have tenant mix on the street, which I think is exciting," she said.
Plus, Elyssa says there’s a trick to being a successful business on El Paseo.
"The secret is learning who your customer is and cultivating that customer. Our customers want stores like ours that our different from, especially because they are seasonal. They don’t want stores that they have when they go back home."
A challenge that she takes with open arms.
"I love being on El Paseo. I love the diverseness of it. We have a little bit of everything. I think customers can come to this street, spend the entire day and there is plenty of room for different experiences. And yes, you’ll come across a store that’s closed but I bet you that really soon, it’s going to reopen with something new."
Reports suggest that more people are shopping online instead of coming into stores, and this could be contributing to less foot traffic on El Paseo.