The Evolution of Somerset Collection Mall
The Birth and Growth of a Retail Landmark
In the heart of Troy, Michigan, a retail revolution began with the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue on April 14, 1967.
This wasn’t just a store but a beacon of fashion and luxury for the affluent suburb of Detroit. Fast forward to the late 1980s, and Somerset Mall was undergoing a metamorphosis.
The transformation was pivotal in 1991-1992 when the center was reborn as Somerset Collection.
This was no ordinary revamp; it was a leap into upscale retail with the opening of a sprawling 141,000-square-foot Neiman Marcus, complemented by luxury stores like Tiffany and Crate and Barrel.
Architectural Evolution and Expansion
The Somerset Collection didn’t just grow in size; it evolved architecturally. This transformation was marked by a significant expansion in 1996, with the opening of Somerset North.
This three-story, $30 million addition, designed by JPRA Architects, was a marvel. It introduced Michigan’s first Nordstrom and a transformed Hudson’s, which later became Marshall Field’s and Macy’s.
This addition made Somerset one of only three malls in the country to house all four major department stores. This architectural wonder didn’t just offer shopping; it became a symbol of luxury and style in Metro Detroit.
Continuous Innovation and Adaptation
Innovation didn’t stop there. The mall saw a significant renovation in 2004, showcasing stunning features like a continuous skylight, glass elevators, and fountains designed by WET.
Somerset Collection became a model for other upscale malls, such as the Mall at Millenia in Orlando. It’s a place where the community gathers, where fashion meets function, and every visit offers something new and exciting.
For those seeking things to do in Troy, Michigan, Somerset Collection isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s a landmark of retail evolution.
Architectural and Design Highlights
Skywalk: Bridging More Than Just Buildings
One of the Somerset Collection’s most iconic features is the Skywalk. This 700-foot enclosed bridge, stretching over Big Beaver Road, is not just a passage; it’s a marvel of modern design.
As one of the first of its kind in the country, the Skywalk, with its climate-controlled environment and moving walks, effortlessly connects Somerset Collection South and North.
It’s a testament to the mall’s commitment to providing an exceptional shopping experience, seamlessly blending form with function.
A Feast for the Eyes: Architectural Brilliance
The Somerset Collection isn’t just about shopping; it’s a visual masterpiece. The mall is a canvas where art meets architecture.
The continuous skylight bathes the interiors in natural light, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Using glass elevators adds a touch of modern elegance, offering shoppers a panoramic view of the mall’s splendor.
The attention to detail is evident in every corner, from the carefully curated sculptures to the Sorvikivi Floating Stone fountain, making it a destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life.
Influencing Retail Design Beyond Borders
The influence of the Somerset Collection’s design extends beyond its walls. Its architectural style and layout have inspired other shopping centers, including the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Florida.
Also designed by JPRA Architects, the Mall at Millenia mirrors Somerset’s design ethos, lacking kiosks to maintain an open and uncluttered space.
This architectural kinship between the two malls is a testament to Somerset Collection’s status as a trendsetter in retail design, setting a high bar for elegance and shopper experience.
Current Anchors and Their Stories
Macy’s: A Story of Evolution
Macy’s at Somerset Collection is not just a store; it’s a chapter in retail history. Initially opening as Hudson’s, it became Marshall Field’s before becoming Macy’s in 2006.
This evolution reflects the dynamic nature of retail trends and consumer preferences. As one of the three malls in the country to house all major department stores, Macy’s at Somerset Collection symbolizes resilience and adaptability in the ever-changing retail landscape.
Saks Fifth Avenue: Where It All Began
The journey of Somerset Collection began with the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1967. This standalone store laid the foundation for what would become a retail empire.
Saks Fifth Avenue has maintained its reputation as a purveyor of luxury, continuously attracting a discerning clientele.
Its presence in Somerset Collection underscores the mall’s commitment to upscale retail, setting the standard for luxury shopping in the region.
Nordstrom: Introducing Michigan’s First
Nordstrom’s arrival at Somerset Collection marked a significant milestone. It was the first in Michigan, introduced in the Somerset North expansion.
This store wasn’t just about bringing a new brand to the state and setting a new standard in luxury shopping.
Nordstrom’s reputation for high-quality products and exceptional customer service resonated with the Somerset clientele, reinforcing the mall’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled shopping experience.
Neiman Marcus: A Symbol of Sophistication
Neiman Marcus, opening on the site of the former Bonwit Teller, brought a new dimension to the Somerset Collection.
Its presence speaks to a long-standing tradition of luxury and exclusivity. This 141,000-square-foot store is more than a retail space; it’s a testament to Somerset Collection’s dedication to upscale retailing.
Neiman Marcus offers an exquisite selection of designer apparel and accessories, aligning with the sophisticated tastes of its shoppers and solidifying Somerset Collection’s position as a leader in luxury retail.
The Unique Mix of Retailers and Dining Options
A Retail Haven for Every Shopper
Somerset Collection isn’t just a mall; it’s a paradise with about 170 stores. This array of shops ranges from specialty retailers to luxury brands, ensuring every shopper finds something to suit their style.
With stores like Allbirds, Altar’d State, and Vuori, the mall caters to various preferences, blending everyday fashion with high-end luxury.
The presence of brands like Dior, Saint Laurent, Versace, and Hermès elevates Somerset to a shopping destination that rivals the best in the world.
Culinary Delights at Every Corner
The dining experience at Somerset Collection complements its retail offerings perfectly. Beyond just being a place to shop, Somerset invites visitors to indulge in various culinary delights.
The mall satisfies every palate with options ranging from quick bites to fine dining. The Peacock Cafes, located on the third level of Somerset North, offers a collection of 10 restaurants with seating for 650 customers, making it the perfect spot for a break between shopping sprees.
A Food Court Unlike Any Other
The Peacock Cafes is more than just a food court; it’s a culinary journey. With a selection of restaurants offering a range of cuisines, it’s a place where food becomes an experience.
The Peacock Cafes cater to every craving, whether you’re ready for a quick snack or a leisurely meal.
This dedication to providing a diverse dining experience is yet another facet of Somerset Collection’s commitment to ensuring that every visit is memorable.
Services and Customer Experience
Beyond Shopping: A World of Services
At Somerset Collection, the shopping experience is enhanced by a range of services. This is a destination that cares about the comfort and convenience of its visitors.
From valet parking to a full-service concierge staff, every detail is thoughtfully catered to.
The concierge service includes gift wrapping, stroller, and wheelchair rental, ensuring a stress-free visit for all. These thoughtful touches transform a simple shopping trip into a luxurious experience.
A Connected Experience: Wi-Fi and More
In today’s digital age, staying connected is crucial. Somerset Collection understands this need and offers Wi-Fi access in various locations, including the Peacock Cafe and inside North Grand Court and South Rotunda stores.
This seamless connectivity allows shoppers to stay online, whether checking emails, posting on social media, or comparing prices.
By providing this essential service, Somerset Collection ensures that its visitors can enjoy the convenience of the digital world while indulging in the physical retail experience.
Prioritizing Accessibility and Comfort
Somerset Collection’s commitment to accessibility and comfort is evident in its design and services.
With facilities like the Skywalk and climate-controlled environments, the mall ensures everyone can enjoy their visit regardless of mobility or other needs.
This focus on accessibility makes shopping easier and demonstrates Somerset’s dedication to inclusivity and customer care.
These thoughtful considerations make Somerset Collection more than just a mall; it’s a welcoming community hub.
Community and Cultural Impact
A Hub for the Troy Community
Somerset Collection is a vibrant part of the Troy community. With its stores and services, the mall draws people from all walks of life, becoming a bustling hub in the city.
The mall’s presence in Troy goes beyond retail, contributing significantly to the local economy and becoming a major draw for the community.
Somerset Collection is where people gather, socialize, and experience what Troy offers.
The Stage for Special Events
The Somerset Collection becomes a stage for various special events throughout the year.
From fashion shows to yoga classes and festive celebrations like Santa visits during Christmas, the mall transforms into a community engagement and entertainment center.
These events aren’t just about sales but about creating memorable visitor experiences. They also offer a platform for local talents and businesses to showcase their offerings, further weaving the Somerset Collection into the fabric of the community.
Extending Beyond the Mall: Somerset Collection CityLoft
In 2011, Somerset Collection extended its reach beyond its physical location by introducing Somerset Collection CityLoft in Downtown Detroit.
This innovative concept of pop-up mini-shops brought a piece of Somerset’s retail experience to the heart of Detroit, revitalizing the Lower Woodward Avenue Historic District.
This initiative expanded Somerset’s presence and played a role in the broader revitalization of Detroit, demonstrating the mall’s commitment to community development and urban renewal.
A Landmark in Michigan’s Retail Landscape
Somerset Collection is a beacon in Michigan’s retail world, reflecting the evolving nature of shopping and community engagement.
With its rich history, innovative design, and diverse offerings, Somerset Collection has become more than a mall; it’s a destination that offers a unique and enriching experience.
As it adapts and grows, keeping pace with the latest trends and consumer needs, the Somerset Collection remains a vital part of Troy’s identity, contributing to its economic vitality and cultural richness.
Its ongoing developments and renovations promise to enhance its stature further, making it an enduring symbol of retail excellence and community spirit.
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