Town Square

Post a New Topic

Stanford announces 10 new retail stores

Original post made on Oct 21, 2015

Stanford Shopping Center is entering its final phase of renovation, and on Tuesday, Simon Property Group, which owns the center, unveiled a list of 10 retail stores among more than 25 new stores expected to open in the spring of 2016.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 9:29 AM

Comments (45)

Posted by Need stores for PA Residents
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 10:55 am

I have lived in PA for 30 years now. I used to shop at Stanford Shop Ctr regularly. It was easy to zip in/out and there were accessible stores. Now, we spend our money in other cities: Hillsdale Mall and Valley Faire. The parking at Stanford Shop Ctr is now abysmal (can't just zip in and out, it's a production). The stores are for, well, not us. We don't "shop" at Tiffany, Luis Vuitton, etc. The stores in Stanford Shop Ctr. now are for tourists.

Posted by Palo Alto Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2015 at 10:56 am

This is great but why no Zara?!? Please, Simon Property Group, bring Zara to Palo Alto.

Posted by Friend
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2015 at 10:58 am

No mention of parking spaces. Where will they be?

Posted by Shopper
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:05 am

The mix of stores is now abysmal and although there are many new stores opening, it remains to be see if they are anything more than carbon copies of what are already there.

I remember when we had several toy stores, a great mix of stores that catered to the middle aged and larger sized demographics and a place for younger children to play to let off some steam before heading home.

We older folks like to wear fashionable clothes that actually fit us without making us feel like our grandparents. We may not have the bodies that we had 20, 30 years ago, but we don't need double extra sized clothes just a little more length on the tops and shorts and some more modest designs without being frumpish.

Posted by NotAComplainer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:20 am

Tender Greens is very good. Ate at the one near Caltrain in SF. Only thing better would be if it were on University Ave.

Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

Slow Down is a registered user.

True Food Kitchen and Tender Greens are both really good food additions to the area. Moderately priced, healthy, but not boring.

Posted by Beijing
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:27 am

The shops at Stanford are geared toward foreign investor shoppers. If you wear a size bigger than size 6, you can forget shopping at these new stores. The center is not kid friendly, either. No parking, and tourists on weekends, all contribute to Stanford Shopping Center no longer being a pleasant place to shop. The landscaping is the one bright spot.

Posted by Et Tu
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:36 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:37 am

I was really hoping for UniQlo. Sad that there are just more overpriced stores that appeal to busloads of tourists. Guess I'll keep going to Hillsdale.

Posted by muttiallen
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

I haven't shopped at Stanford since the advent of on-line wedding registries. Loved Nature Company and Books, Inc. Now I get all that online and avoid the EXPENSIVE and useless STUFF in all these stores. We need to become a much less consuming society.

Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

Once Woolworth's left it was the beginning of the end for SSC appealing to local residents. I used to go there all the time. Now, hardly ever.

So does that mean Anthropologie and The North Face are closing their PA locations?

Posted by disappointing
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm

I shop for my teen a lot , and it looks like I will still have to commute to Valley Fair and Hillsdale! It's too bad Stanford has shut out the shopping for locals! Very disappointing.

Posted by foodie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Minamoto Kitchoan

NOOOO! I am going to be SO fat! When I make trips to the City, that is one of my favorite stops. (Yay! chocolate mochi!!!!)

I miss having a local Sears and JCPenneys for real-people stuff, especially boys' clothing. I have heard really scary things about Valley Fair being bulldozed and replaced by housing. I wonder if Cupertino residents understand that they can stop it? (Will they?) The commercial/housing combinations always seem to make commercial suffer and are never what they promise. There needs to be retail in Cupertino. (If people want to renovate the mall, I'd start by moving some of the ... seedier... shops.)

Posted by foodie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm


We needed to find a pair of black pants for a middle school boy for school concert, and couldn't find a single pair in any store at the mall anywhere. Had to drive to Penneys in Cupertino.

Posted by Fading town
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Palo Alto no longer cares about its residents. Everything is geared to foreign investors, tourists, developers, foreigners and the millenials that will leave town within a few years. I don't even recognize Palo Alto anymore. Housing prices may still be escalating, but the quality of life in this town is diminishing quickly. The new, cheaply designed and built commercial buildings around town are an eyesore. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

It's like downtown Palo Alto - everyone who shops there does not live in Palo Alto but is a Palo Alto techie wannabe or the very wealthy or a wannabe wealthy. Perhaps some Old Palo Alto segment shops there, but that is a small section of Palo Alto. I frequent Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's but that's about it. During daytime weekdays, the parking lot is packed (doesn't anyone work?) and the people who shop then are decked-out in some thousand dollar outfits. If you ever attended a Back-to-School Night in PAUSD, it's quite obvious no one is shopping at Stanford, sheesh, unless it's Macy's, which is more like a Kohl's these days. Intellect and fashion sense are usually misaligned. But I enjoy the intellectual Palo Altans - just wish they'd dress a bit better.

Posted by Local
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:02 pm

I'm not sure which Stanford Mall the other people on this thread are going to.

My family goes there frequently - including our two small kids - and there's always easily available parking if you are willing to look. I can't say that I've ever felt surrounded by "foreign investors", either. I'm also a homeowner and not a millennial, though it sounds like I'm younger than many of the people in this thread. (I don't pine for the JC Penney of my youth.)

Maybe you all are mistaking the Asian people that live and work around here for "foreigners"?

While we are at it, all the families in my neighborhood go to downtown Palo Alto frequently and enjoy shopping there. We all wish downtown Menlo Park was as lively as downtown Palo Alto.

Posted by Huh?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Which Einstein approved this? There is already sparse parking on weekends. They'll have to add a layer of parking spaces, which they should be doing during construction now so it would be all completed at the same time.

Posted by Huh?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

I do not recommend sitting on the new lawn. The managers should ban dogs at the mall. I've seen smeared feces on the concrete, dogs peeing on poles. It's just not healthy, and the dog owners will still shop there even if they can't bring Spot.

Posted by xPA
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I have often been amused by the contempt long time Palo Alto residents have for many Stanford Shopping Center stores and the customers who frequent them. In case you people haven't noticed, Prop 13 made California cities highly dependent on sales tax revenues (and funds from Sacramento). You should be very happy that the mall does what it can to maximize revenues.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm

I think Stanford Shopping Center caters to foreigners with money. I gather those touring Stanford from overseas often go shopping there - this fits. They want something with a large name-brand slapped on it.

The Macys at Stanford - the kind of store I would LIKE to shop at and have for years -- now seems run-down to me with poor inventory and I shop there less and less.

Meantime, costly stores like Bloomies etc. are not really my taste. Times do change. I will take my dollars elsewhere, that's all.

Some have posted about Hillsdale Shopping Center being much more friendly and having better prices (I have found) -- so a tip to those who don't go there - if you have to drop someone off at SFO as I sometimes do, then stop in at Hillsdale on the way back home to do some shopping. Makes sense and is enjoyable. I expect that center will be upgraded/improved sometime soon, too , but meantime there are quality stores and a Barnes & Noble right there. Works for me...

Someone posting about Cupertino may be confusing Vallco there (which is slated for an out of this world redevelopment that looks artificial to me) - with Valley Fair whats-its-name -now Westfield Shoppington -- down in Santa Clara, which I think is in very good shape but rather far away for Palo Alto residents.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I saw the writing on the wall when the frog fountain was removed. When I asked about it no one seemed to know where it went, but one clerk thought he'd heard it didn't fit with the new aesthetic of the shopping center. So much for charm and whimsy.

As for the Hillsdale mall, they have a stunning collection of Benny Bufano animal sculptures, well worth a look.

Posted by South Bay
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm


You are thinking of Vallco in Cupertino and not Valley Fair. Vallco Mall has been struggling for over a decade and has not been a place where anyone went to shop, window shop, or even wile away the time. According to a 3/26/15 SJ Merc article, the occupancy rate of this 1.2 million-square-foot mall was 60%, at the time of printing; occupancy in 2006 was at 24% (according to Wikipedia). Yelp shows it rated at 2 stars by over 200 reviewers. You will miss Sears, but I don't think it will be missed by Cupertino residents who were stuck with an under-utilized waste of space that was of no use to the community.

According to what I have seen and read, the new owners are planning a "mixed-use town center" comprised of retail, dining, residential, office, entertainment, and open space/recreation (park, trails, and green roof). They seem to be making every attempt to involve residents in offering input to the needs and wants of their community in this project by booths set up at community events, sending out postcards, setting up a website with email feedback, and offering open houses.

Valley Fair Mall that you mention is in Santa Clara and is in no danger of closing based on the amount of shoppers it attracts on a weekly basis. This is due to its wide array of popular shops and dining options, as well as across-the-street location to Santana Row.

Posted by Chip
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Chip is a registered user.

Stanford Shopping Center brings in massive revenue to Palo Alto. One unfortunate trade off as it expands is less available parking. The lure it presents to out-of-town shoppers from mid-November until New Year's worsens local traffic & further reduces shopping center parking. From mid-November until early January, Sand hill is clogged with cars sporting out-of the-area dealer plate frames & more families & female groups than we see among our usual work commuters. Pity the people needing to get to the ER at Stanford Hospital, because getting there is slow. I've learned to avoid Stanford Shopping Center during the holidays & find more pleasant buying experiences elsewhere.

@Long Time Res - yes, Anthropologie announced a few weeks ago that the current location will close.

Posted by foodie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm

You're right, I was confusing Valley Fair and Vallco. I am afraid the real-people anchor stores at Vallco will disappear. Plus the movie theater is better than the one in Mountain View, and it's always possible to park there. Dim sum is good, too.

Valley Fair, the one further away, is a parking nightmare, much worse than Stanford. I would choose Stanford over VF, but VF has a greater variety of stores. I hate going down there though. Stanford is a way nicer mall for browsing. I LOVE Pinkberry FroYo, worth a trip just for that. Can't beat the shoes at Nordstroms (they have a great restaurant last I checked, is it still good?) Max's is a really good value with consistently good food and way better than the one in SF (which is abysmal and should be closed).

It might be fun to make a chocolate trip to Stanford Mall: Minamoto's, Teuscher ($$$ but worth it for the champagne truffles), See's Candy, and then hazelnut chocolate froyo at Pinkberry.

JCPenneys is not the store of our youth. There are some things you can get there that you just can't get for the money anywhere else. I bought six beautiful standard full outdoor cushions (back and seat) for a patio set, with piping, beautiful outdoor fabric, for $135 TOTAL delivered. They look new after several years. The quality is insane. I couldn't touch 2 pillows anywhere else for the price. Same goes for chair covers, sofa covers, and a lot of other household items. We got a fine lightweight wool tuxedo for our high school student, tuxedo shirt, cummerbund, tie, etc - such a good price I bought two in order to have a spare for travel. They carry the odd sizes -- tall, petite, slim/tall -- and they have the best value in business maternity that you can find anywhere. I am local like you and no connection to Penneys. Their online service can at times remind me of the retailer of old, but who cares. They brought back their amazing sales, and there are so many categories of goods they do better than almost anyone else especially for the price (sheets, comforters, men's underwear and socks, tall women's clothing, most stuff for the home, reasonably priced throw rugs, etc etc).

Sears is kind of a nightmare to shop, but it's more pleasant than Walmart, and they have THE best boys' jeans (Toughskins) you can get anywhere. They even have a guarantee that if your kids wear out the clothing before they grow out of it, they replace it, and indeed they did this with some boy's Dockers. They have great teen t-shirts for the money. It's also the best place to get school uniform items (Penneys does, too, but Sears is usually even cheaper for the basic black and white and tan stuff.) Their problem is they don't stock up properly for sales, so it's hit or miss year after year. Their online store is terrible and has been for years - so obvious their executives don't use it. Nevertheless, the value and selection are way better than bargain places like Target, and they carry so many categories (esp at Penneys) that would be out of reach without them.

To me, Penney's is today one of the best kept secrets in retail. I find it more useful and better value than Macy's, though Macy's still is the best value for a lot of things (on sale) like luggage and basic women's fashion. OK, said my piece. Unlike many of the above posters, I have no quibble with Stanford, but the dearth of "real people" stores in the area is discouraging, and I'm really afraid of what might happen at Vallco.

Posted by foodie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm

@South Bay,
Yes, I am very familiar with Vallco and it's woes. Since this is anonymous, I'll say it here: attempts to renovate the place have been half-@$$ed and disingenuous, and the long-time presence of sword/knive store and places like Frederick's (which may have closed, not sure) did not help. It's definitely a curse to family browsers.

The movie theater is better than anything we have near us, is well used, and the dim sum place is always overflowing on weekends. The bowling alley is wonderful. JcPenneys is really well laid out and nicer in many ways than Macy's these days. They also have a decent-priced mass photo place.

I know the plans, I just think mixed-use has proven to be a real bait and switch, and is usually housing-dominant with a few froo froo shops and restaurants. Real retail for real people will disappear from the area, and that's sad.

Oh, and Sears is also a good place to get appliances and tools. (I may be a foodie, but I also appreciate value and am not a snob.)

Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Prana as a brand has not had many standalone stores. I worked at the PE Firm that bought Prana from Liz Claiborne in 2008 and sold them last year to Columbia Sports Wear.

They have a diversified portfolio of clothing lines around Climbing, Yoga and Hemp Based Casual wear. and were traditionally sold through REI and other outdoor clothing stores.

Palo Alto's demographics are a PERFECT fit for the company and with LuLu Lemon in downtown PAO, it made sense for them to be at T&C.

Nobody is FORCING you to shop there.

Roy Thiele-Sardina

Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2015 at 5:37 pm

I wonder if ANYONE reads these comments...

HELLO Stanford Shopping Center Management AND/OR CIty of Palo Alto council members- Do you see that NOT a single comment is favorable??!!
Do you EVER listen to the people who actually LIVE here in PA?? GEEEEZZ!

I shop in Midtown and frequent our mom and pop shops as much as possible.

Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm

I second the commenter who wondered if the store opening at Stanford Shopping Center means that the North Face on Alma will close.

Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has lost any desire to shop at Macy's. I went there yesterday, prepared to buy fall clothes, and left without even trying anything on. The store looked dismal, mildly grubby, and they seemed not to be carrying one of my favorite brands any more. I fear its days are numbered.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Folks, the PA city council has no jurisdiction over what stores go into Stanford Shopping Center. In fact, Stanford U. has nothing to do with it. Direct your whining to Simon Property Group.

Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 21, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@ KP - I think you are mistaken, there have been positive comments, like mine. Stanford Shopping Center is great, and the only real downside is that it is sapping businesses and customers from downtown which is becoming an office park. If you long for JC Penney, well just look at how well it is does as an anchor for decrepit Vallco. Yes parking can be a pain at the Stanford SHopping Center, but it is because it is popular, and has a good mix of shops. I would have said the big weakness is lack of good food, but they are addressing it by adding some solid restaurants. The real problem is downtown Palo Alto, and luring back some shoppers (which would free up some parking at the shopping center - so a win-win).

Posted by Georgie Gleim
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 21, 2015 at 8:46 pm

My store, Gleim the Jeweler, is one of the original tenants of the center. I hope I can assure people on the frog fountain question. I am told it is slated to return towards the end of the renovation. It will be in a different location than it used to be, but management has assured me that it will be back. (And I continue to ask on a regular basis.) There are still some locally-owned independent stores at store, Edward's Luggage, another original tenant, Hair International, the independently-owned salon, Schaub's meats, just to name a few. And I'm pleased to say that the bulk of our customers are from the immediately surrounding area: Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Mountain View, etc. As for parking, around the holidays it is always a challenge, but for most of the year, you can always find spaces on the second level of the structure outside MacDonald's which is convenient to most of the center. Lighting in that structure will be improved as part of the renovation.

Posted by long way to go
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2015 at 9:28 am

The original plan called for relocating the frog fountain to the area
around American Girl as I recall. It is too early of course to form
a judgement on this overall project. The goal here according to the architect was to modernize the center, "contemporary design" unifying it while still maintaining its essential character and image calling it Northern California Modern,and an "urban garden shopping village" while
maintaining some of its older features. This is a complex project and a lot of design expertise is required. So it's the implementation which is critical here.

Posted by Julie Armitano
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 22, 2015 at 11:16 am

I can't wait to see the new stores.
My mom,sister,nieces and I love shopping at the stanford shopping center.
I love going to Bath and body works,Nothstroms,tea places,Schaubs,fruit place,pinkberry yogurt,marc's and the chocolote store.
I miss the music store and the tea place.

Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

"Once Woolworth's left it was the beginning of the end for SSC appealing to local residents."

God, if Woolworth were still at Stanford Shopping Mall, it certainly wouldn't appeal to this local resident. What year is this, 1972?

Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Weekly Staff: Although the article "an" is disappearing from our vernacular, regardless of how hard it is to pronounce "a" in front of a vowel sound, like "A Italian," can't you journalists pleeeaase use the correct article? "An Italian?"

Posted by Just an Opinion
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I think it is just awful that NOTHING at Stanford is anything but over-the-top expensive. I'm not asking for cheap or cheesy, just moderately priced. More in line with Macy's than Bloomie's.

[Portion removed.]

Posted by GDImi
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

This middle aged former mid-westerner adores the access to high end stores offered by Stanford Mall. I like that it is open air as I refuse to visit the typical indoor malls like Valley Fair and Hillsdsle. I do think there is a place for JC Penny's and Sears but let Stanford Mall be a fun oasis. As a kid I only had Sears and JCP. Even Macy's was foreign. I say enjoy the variety, sometimes you need something a little special. Be glad it's in the neighborhood.

Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 22, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

For the people who want a Woolworth back - it has been defunct for 20 years, time to find new places to shop.

For the people who Want JC Penney, but don't like Macy's, they are basically the same. I opened two windows, found a pair of pants at Macy's, found the exact same pair at JC Penney, and they are the exact same price. All this stuff comes from a few big companies with a few big asian factories. Same price, same quality. Stanford has lower end shoppers and JC Penney fans covered with a Gap, and urban outfitter, and Macy's. You are wasting if you are driving to Cupertino to go to the mall.

Web Link

Posted by foodie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2015 at 1:22 am

@Slow Down,
JCP got a ceo who wanted to make it nto Macys, but it didnt work out and they went back to what worked. No, they are not the same. I've gotten way more value and variety from JCP. They carry a whole lot of stuff the other dept stores don't. I tend to buy from their online catalog, but occasionally, it's the only place to find basics. The lovely tuxedos we got recently were a quarter the price of what we could get anywhere at Stanford, in sizes you cant find elsewhere. I had resigned to buy and tailor but didnt have to because of their range of sizes.

The shape of Vallco is not the fault of Penneys or Sears. Both are well patronized even though the mall is often empty. The dim sum place is always hopping on weekends with waits, usually. Doesn make the mall less empty. It's no mystery why, I've already covered that.

Posted by Yup
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

Yup. I agree with everyone. No one goes there anymore. Its too crowded.

Posted by Ashamed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by Been here a while
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Georgie Gleim, thanks for your comment! I laughed when I realized that the stores you named, plus a few others, are the reasons we still go to Stanford Shopping Center. Not so often now, either. Never to hang out anymore. The overall feel has changed - for blatant (e.g. changes to open area between Macy's and Neimen Marcus) and subtle reasons (e.g. flowerbeds are still pretty, but not inspired as they once were). We go to Town and Country more - Books Inc went there and didn't leave the area, thank goodness.

Posted by Tried and Failed
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I recently went to the SSC to do some gift shopping.

What a trial by fire! Salespeople size you up the minute you walk in a store! Never go there if you are not dressed to the nines, because you can not get help if you are in jeans.

I was well-dressed, but not lavishly so. The stores were packed late afternoon with expensively dressed [portion removed] tourists, one of whom nudged me out of her way with her elbow when looking at watches. Really? All while the salespeople watched!

Doubt that I will go back-- I used to love this shopping center, too-- but there was never rudeness before.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Burning just one "old style" light bulb can cost $150 or more per year
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 3,305 views

Banning the public from PA City Hall
By Diana Diamond | 27 comments | 2,409 views

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,111 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 1,962 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,558 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.