Lakeside Shopping Center: A Retail Landmark in Metairie, LA
Lakeside Shopping Center, nestled in the heart of Metairie, Louisiana, emerged as a pioneering retail destination when it opened its doors on March 24, 1960.
It marked a significant milestone as the first regional shopping mall in New Orleans, setting a precedent for future retail developments in the area.
Spanning a vast 967,000 square feet, Lakeside has grown to be the largest and most frequented mall in the Greater New Orleans region.
This shopping center, managed and owned by The Feil Organization, boasts over 100 stores and restaurants, catering to a diverse range of shopping and dining preferences.
Key anchor tenants like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dillard’s have been instrumental in shaping its retail landscape, with Macy’s joining the ensemble in 2008 and Dillard’s having a historical presence since its transformation from D.H. Holmes in 1989.
Notably, the Apple Store, a high-revenue generating tenant, has been a part of Lakeside since 2008.
The mall’s evolution includes significant expansions and renovations, such as the conversion to an enclosed mall in 1969 and the modernization of its Food Court.
With its rich history and continuous adaptation to retail trends, Lakeside Shopping Center remains pivotal in Metairie, Louisiana, offering a comprehensive shopping experience to locals and visitors alike.
The Historical Journey of Lakeside Shopping Center
The Beginning and Early Years (1960s)
Lakeside Shopping Center embarked on its retail journey as an open-air center in 1960, introducing a new era of shopping in New Orleans.
Initially, the center was anchored by prominent names like D. H. Holmes and JCPenney, setting a high standard for retail in the region.
This period marked the beginning of Lakeside’s role as a trendsetter in the shopping mall industry, attracting a wide array of shoppers with its diverse range of stores and services.
Expansion and Transformation (1970s-2000s)
The 1970s brought significant changes to Lakeside as it transitioned into an enclosed mall, aligning with the evolving retail trends of the time.
This transformation was a major milestone, expanding its appeal and providing shoppers with a comfortable, all-weather shopping environment.
The expansion of JCPenney into a new two-level location further solidified Lakeside’s position as a leading shopping destination.
The 1980s and 1990s saw continued growth, with the conversion of D. H. Holmes into Dillard’s in 1989, a move that brought a fresh dynamic to the mall’s retail offerings.
Adding a new Food Court and parking facilities in the subsequent years enhanced the shopping experience, making Lakeside a comprehensive destination for both shopping and leisure.
Modern Developments and Renovations
The 21st century ushered in a new era for Lakeside Shopping Center with the opening of Macy’s in 2008. This addition was a significant development, further diversifying the shopping options available to visitors.
The introduction of Zara in 2014 marked another key expansion, bringing in a popular international fashion brand.
Recent renovations, particularly in the Food Court area, have kept the mall contemporary and in tune with the latest consumer preferences, ensuring that Lakeside remains at the forefront of the retail sector in Metairie.
The Anchors of Lakeside: Stories of Prominent Retailers
Macy’s: A Modern Retail Giant
Macy’s, synonymous with American department store culture, established its presence in Lakeside Shopping Center in 2008.
This addition marked a significant expansion of the mall’s retail offerings. Occupying a substantial area, Macy’s brought a diverse array of products ranging from the latest fashion trends to home furnishings.
Its introduction to Lakeside diversified the shopping options and reinforced the mall’s status as a top-tier shopping destination in Metairie.
JCPenney: A Legacy Anchor
JCPenney, an original anchor since Lakeside’s inception in 1960, has been a cornerstone of the mall’s retail experience.
Known for its wide range of affordable fashion, home decor, and appliances, JCPenney expanded to a two-level store in the 1970s, reflecting its growing popularity and commitment to the Lakeside community.
Over the years, JCPenney has adapted to changing market trends while maintaining its core values of quality and affordability.
Dillard’s: From D.H. Holmes to a Retail Powerhouse
Initially opened as D.H. Holmes in 1960, Dillard’s transitioned to Dillard’s in 1989, bringing a new wave of retail offerings to Lakeside.
This department store is known for its wide selection of clothing, accessories, and home goods.
Dillard’s has been instrumental in shaping the shopping experience at Lakeside, consistently updating its product lines to cater to the evolving tastes of its customers.
Dick’s Sporting Goods: A Haven for Sports Enthusiasts
Dick’s Sporting Goods, a leading sporting goods retailer, adds a dynamic dimension to Lakeside Shopping Center.
Catering to sports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, Dick’s offers a comprehensive range of sports equipment, apparel, and accessories.
Its presence in the mall underscores Lakeside’s commitment to providing diverse shopping experiences that cater to the interests and needs of all its visitors.
Zara: Bringing International Fashion to Metairie
A global fashion retail giant, Zara debuted in Lakeside Shopping Center in 2014. Known for its trendy and affordable fashion offerings, Zara has become a favorite among shoppers seeking the latest styles.
Its introduction to Lakeside reflects the mall’s ongoing efforts to incorporate international brands and stay abreast of global fashion trends.
Apple Store: A Hub of Technology and Innovation
The Apple Store, a key anchor tenant since 2008, has been a major draw for tech enthusiasts visiting Lakeside.
Known for its high revenue per square foot, the Apple Store offers the latest technology, from iPhones to MacBooks, expert advice, and support.
Its presence in the mall highlights Lakeside’s alignment with modern consumer trends and its commitment to offering a cutting-edge retail experience.
A Spectrum of Retail Experiences: Notable Stores in Lakeside
Fashion and Apparel
Lakeside Shopping Center is a fashionista’s paradise, boasting various clothing stores catering to diverse styles and preferences.
A|X Armani Exchange, known for its unique fashion pieces, offers shoppers a distinct style experience.
Ann Taylor, another key player, provides classic and sophisticated women’s professional and casual wear apparel.
Free People stands out with its bohemian-inspired clothing, attracting a younger, more trend-focused demographic. These stores, among others, make Lakeside a go-to destination for fashion enthusiasts.
Stepping into Style: Shoe Stores
Shoe enthusiasts at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, LA, are in for a treat. The mall houses an impressive array of shoe stores catering to every style and occasion.
From the latest sneakers at Foot Locker to the stylish selections at Aldo, there’s a perfect pair waiting for everyone.
For those seeking luxury and designer brands, stores like Michael Kors offer chic and elegant options.
Meanwhile, athletic and outdoor adventurers can find their fit at Dick’s Sporting Goods, which stocks a wide range of sports and outdoor footwear.
Children’s shoe needs are covered, too, with stores like Kids Foot Locker providing trendy and comfortable options for the little ones.
Whether you’re looking for high heels for a special event, casual loafers for everyday wear, or durable boots for outdoor activities, Lakeside’s shoe stores offer a diverse range of choices to step up your shoe game.
Jewelry and Accessories
Lakeside’s allure extends to its selection of jewelry and accessory stores. Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry offers an exquisite collection of high-end jewelry, making it a popular choice for those seeking luxury items.
Kendra Scott, another notable name, brings its unique brand of stylish and affordable jewelry to the mall.
These stores, along with others like Zales and Pandora, provide a comprehensive range of options for shoppers looking to add a touch of elegance to their attire.
Culinary Delights: Dining Options at Lakeside
Casual and Fast Food
Lakeside Shopping Center offers many options for quick bites and casual dining. Fast-food favorites like Chick-fil-A and Raising Canes are popular for their prompt service and delicious menus.
Smoothie King provides healthy and refreshing drink options for those on the go. These fast-food outlets cater to shoppers looking for convenience without compromising on taste.
Sit-Down Restaurants and Cafes
For a more relaxed dining experience, the mall houses several sit-down restaurants and cafes. The Cheesecake Factory is a crowd-pleaser with its extensive menu and famous dessert selections.
P.F. Chang’s offers a taste of Asian cuisine with its unique flavors and dishes. Café Du Monde, a local favorite, brings a touch of New Orleans culture to the mall with its famous beignets and coffee.
Specialty and International Cuisine
Lakeside also features dining options that offer specialty and international cuisines.
Flemings provides a fine dining experience with its steakhouse menu, ideal for special occasions or a luxurious meal. Haagen-Dazs adds an international flavor to its premium ice cream and dessert range.
These dining establishments enhance the overall shopping experience at Lakeside, making it a destination for shopping and culinary exploration.
Lakeside’s Response to Challenges: Hurricane Katrina and Beyond
Resilience During Hurricane Katrina
In the face of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Lakeside Shopping Center demonstrated remarkable resilience.
Despite the widespread devastation in the region, the mall suffered only minor damages. This quick recovery was pivotal in providing the community with a sense of normalcy and continuity during a time of great upheaval.
Lakeside’s ability to bounce back swiftly also underscored its robust infrastructure and crisis management capabilities.
Adapting to Changing Retail Landscapes
Over the years, Lakeside has adeptly navigated the shifting sands of the retail industry. With the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behaviors, the mall has continually adapted its offerings and experiences.
This adaptability is evident in its diverse mix of stores, embracing both traditional retail giants and newer, trendier brands.
Lakeside has maintained its relevance and appeal in an increasingly competitive market by staying attuned to consumer preferences and industry trends.
Community and Social Events
Lakeside Shopping Center has also played a significant role in hosting community and social events. These events range from holiday celebrations to charity fundraisers, reinforcing the mall’s position as a community hub.
Additionally, Lakeside has responded to social issues, as seen in its handling of the anti-Israel protests, balancing the need for open expression with the safety and comfort of its patrons.
Lakeside Shopping Center: A Hub of Social Awareness in 2023
In 2023, Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, LA, became more than just a shopping destination; it became a focal point for social and political expression.
On December 23, 2023, the mall witnessed a significant event as several dozen protestors rallied against Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.
Just two days before Christmas, this demonstration displayed political activism and a poignant reminder of the ongoing global conflicts.
The protestors, advocating for Palestinian freedom, chose this pre-Christmas period for their demonstration, aligning their message with the cancellation of Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem due to the war.
Their chants, “While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping,” resonated through the mall, juxtaposing the festive shopping atmosphere with the grim realities of war.
This protest at Lakeside Shopping Center was part of similar demonstrations across New Orleans, reflecting a growing trend of using public spaces like malls for political expression.
The reaction to the protest was mixed. While some onlookers recorded the event and showed support, others responded with hostility.
This event at Lakeside Shopping Center highlights the complex role of public spaces in contemporary society – where commerce, community, and political expression intersect.
Conclusion: Lakeside Shopping Center
Reflecting on Lakeside’s Evolution and Impact
As we conclude our exploration of Lakeside Shopping Center, it’s evident that this mall is more than just a collection of stores and restaurants.
It’s a dynamic entity that has grown and adapted over the decades, reflecting the changing retail, dining, and social engagement trends.
From its inception in 1960 as an open-air center to its current status as a bustling enclosed mall, Lakeside has consistently served as a barometer for the retail industry’s evolution in Metairie and Greater New Orleans.
The Future of Lakeside: Adapting and Thriving
Looking forward, Lakeside Shopping Center is poised to continue its legacy of adaptation and innovation.
As consumer preferences shift and new retail challenges emerge, Lakeside is expected to respond with agility and creativity.
Whether embracing new technologies, expanding its range of stores and services, or enhancing its role as a community hub, Lakeside is well-positioned to maintain its relevance and appeal in the ever-changing landscape of retail and community engagement.
A Testament to Resilience and Community Connection
In summary, Lakeside Shopping Center is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the enduring power of community connection.
It’s where shopping, dining, social awareness, and community life intertwine, creating a vibrant tapestry that reflects the spirit of Metairie and the broader New Orleans region.
As Lakeside continues to evolve, it will remain a key destination for locals and visitors, offering a unique blend of retail experiences and community engagement.