Some retail-related news stories kicking around this week:
Marin County retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 were 14.1% lower than the same quarter in 2007. Novato's sales were down 7.1%. (That's taxable retail sales) Source: the Quarterly Sales Tax Update prepared for the City of Novato.
The City of San Rafael is to complete the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Target superstore, even though the project is on hold. Source: Marin IJ
The Tavern at Lark Creek will open next week (June 3rd), replacing the Lark Creek Inn. According to the blurb, the Tavern will offer "a seasonally driven menu that highlights elevated crowd favorites. Main courses will be under $15". Sounds great - unless you're the nearest competing restaurant in the under$15 category, which just happens to be the Yankee Clipper, also owned by the Lark Creek Group...
The Marin IJ sent a reporter to the community meeting for the North Redwood Boulevard Corridor and found a surprising degree of consensus: Yes to a new hotel (because it will create tax revenue); Yes to narrowing Redwood Boulevard; Yes to large format retailers; but No to the proposed Walgreens.
Northgate is leading the race to adopt social media. The mall now has a Facebook page to go with it's Twitter account. Unfortunately the mall is still under serious renovation, so to make up for the absence of stores, it is posting some delightful photos of piles of construction rubble.