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Seeing double on the Fulton Mall

The Brooklyn Paper
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No, you’re not seeing double when you’re shopping on the Fulton Mall — there really are close to a dozen duplicate stores along Downtown Brooklyn’s busiest shopping strip.

And on Thursday, the trend continued with the opening of a second Modell’s Sporting Goods store at Hoyt Street, just four blocks from its other location. But it’s nothing new; Jimmy Jazz and HyperActive clothing stores, Payless Shoes, Heart & Sole, and Foot Locker have been living a “double life” on Fulton Mall for years.

Some of the more than 100,000 shoppers who hit the mall each day may find it repetitive, but multiple locations show the strip’s vibrancy, said Brigit Pinnell of the Fulton Mall Improvement Association.

“If [a company] thinks there’s more of a market to capture, they will open more retail options, and that says a lot to how much the demand is,” Pinnell said.

The Payless–Modell’s–Jimmy Jazz–Hyperactive–Duane Reade cycle on Fulton Mall is just a Brooklyn case study in what planners call “the Starbucks model.”

“They locate their branches so that a person is always close to a Starbuck’s and will choose to not go to another coffeehouse,” said NYU urban policy professor Mitchell Moss.

The new Modell’s is at one of the three best corners in the whole city, and the time was right to capitalize on the opportunity, said the company’s CEO, Mitchell Modell, calling Fulton Mall as important to his business as his Times Square location.

“We put a lot of money into the building because we feel that it’s such a strong street,” Modell said of his new 33,000-square foot store, just down the road from the 17,200-square-foot site at 360 Fulton St.

The double-life also means double-ease for the shopper. Last Saturday, the Jimmy Jazz at 520 Fulton St. didn’t have a popular size-8 gold Reebok hi-top sneaker, but the location at 442 Fulton St. did.

That’s why Nidia Rolon, 59, shops the Mall several times a week.

“When I come here, I go to all [the double stores],” said Rolon. “You can get all your shopping done, yes. It’s convenient.”

But the managers of each store don’t see what all the fuss is about.

“What’s the big deal?” a manager of the 520 Fulton St. Jimmy Jazz said. But, she added, “Our store looks better.”

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Reader Feedback

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April 29, 2009, 2:58 pm
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April 10, 2010, 8:25 am
DOTTIE from CLINTON HILL says:
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April 10, 2010, 8:25 am

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