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Monday, July 04, 2011 

La Cumbre Plaza "rethinks" their "ritzy" image

Fountain La Cumbre by santa barbarian
how about having shops that actual working people can afford to shop at? It wasn't the economy that is doing the mall in...it's the snotty attitude.
After flirting with a new image as a ritzy shopping center, Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza is returning to humbler roots. The mall on La Cumbre Road and upper State Street is welcoming retailers from across the price spectrum, owner Macerich told me, as it tries to attract new tenants to the space vacated by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at the end of June.

Ruth’s Chris — the largest luxury steakhouse chain in the U.S. — was one of several upscale tenants brought in over the last several years as La Cumbre worked to reposition itself as a high-end shopping spot. Other newcomers included designer brand Louis Vuitton and jewelry retailer Tiffany’s & Co. — both of which are still at the center. But as the economy sputtered to a halt and consumers pulled back on spending, Ruth’s Chris apparently suffered. After three years in business, it shuttered its doors at the end of June.

Meanwhile, La Cumbre operator Macerich is conceding that with consumers still cautious, it may be time to reconsider its earlier makeover attempts. Anchored by Sears and Vons, La Cumbre “has opened up with the change in the economy,” mall spokeswoman Mary-Lynn Harms told me, and is no longer limiting its consideration of new tenants to upscale retail. - Pacific Coast Business Times

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