Happy Birthday! Shareology is Two!!! July 26, 2011

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Hard to believe that Shareology started on July 26, 2009!  Even harder to believe the great people I’ve met along the way; thank you so much for your readership. Love to look back at milestones?  Here are the top 3 Shareology stories in the past 2 years:

  1. Legoland reopens at Mall of America! 
  2. Apple brings their Briefing Room to Uptown!  
  3. Branding Opportunity or Ugly Concrete Posts? 

So what do YOU want to talk about in the next Shareology post?

Kay Roseland  @KayLoire


Lego Imagination Center at Mall of America April 11, 2011

Flora Delaney and Kay Roseland dispense unasked-for advice about retail marketing, strategy, merchandising, and more.*

FD:     Going through the Mall of America with you, Kay, is a treat.  I know you have the pulse on the Twin Cities retail and marketing scene, so it is surprising to me that we see this Lego store at MOA so differently.  I was unimpressed by their opening and said as much in my post “How to Waste Windows in Retail.”  Thank goodness they have finally done something with those front windows.


KR:    It was almost as though we saw two different stores!

FD:     Yeah, I still don’t understand why they put handles on those windows just to let their employees in there to dust the models or whatnot.  They are so obvious and I see new visitors trying to open those “doors” all the time – really confusing.


KR:    I think our shopping buddy above agrees with you!

 FD:     I have to admit the $250 Tower of England model and the other model sets in that window are great aspirational sets that kids and adults want to look at.  I guess we can just chalk up their awful windows at Christmas when they opened to yet another failure of a retailer to look its best on opening day due to an inability to get all the parts to the store on time.  I see that all the time.

KR:    My first impression is those wonderful Lego figures soaring high about the main selling floor, visible as you traipse the second and third floors of Mall of America.  Now that’s Lego Imagination!

FD:     There is really only one thing I truly love about this store and that is the Minnesota-themed mosaics they did on the side without windows.  It is the only tip of the hat to this particular location and I frankly really truly want to make one of these just as large and impressive at my cabin.  

KR:    I must not have gotten the craft gene; I’m glad they buried the local mosaics on the least trafficked side of the store.  It’s not the Mall of Minnesota after all. 


FD:     I know you love the larger than life transformer, dragon and the helicopter dude – and I love that use of space, but maybe because I have been to Legoland the amusement park in San Diego, I am not that wowed by them.  They fill in space and make a nice brand statement and I guess because I totally expect something like that, I just am not wowed by their oversized presence.  Maybe I’m just jaded.


KR:    My fav was the look on the face of a young girl I saw looking up at the dragon’s face….sheer wonderment.  How can you not love 3 stories of Lego magic soaring above the store?  Where else in retail does a store get the 2nd and 3rd stories above their store to stoke retail and kiddy imaginations? Times Square maybe…..

FD:     The play area sure has changed from before.  It used to have a track that kids would build Lego vehicles and then send them down.  It wasn’t until you pointed out their use of their iconic Lego shape did I even pick up on what they were doing. 

KR:    Yep, on my second visit, from above I noticed the play area is actually a giant Lego connector; nice branding touch in a popular functional area.

FD:     The front of the store is filled with plastic bubbles across the entire wall with specific Lego pieces in them that you can buy in bulk.  If you need a green six block or a red four block, you can go there and buy them like produce in the grocery store.  It reminds me so much of that same merchandising concept I saw at the Time Square M&M store.  


KR:    Great place to pick up those pieces that have disappeared from the sets at home!  Plus the bonus of creating an entire wall of focus framing the checkout counter.

FD:     I know you think this store is making a ton of money, but I wonder.  It’s my experience that flagship stores rarely pay back their rent.  I don’t know if Lego is paying for the second and third floor air above their store where the transformer and motorcycle rider abide, but if they do, it’s hard to believe this is a profitable location.  I advise retailers who are determined to create a destination flagship store to think of it as a permanent marketing or advertising location and not to expect to have positive income from a flagship.  It should be all about building brand identity and invoking a positive experience with the brand the next time they encounter it – even if it is just back home in their usual stomping grounds.

KR:    Actually, I said if they aren’t making a ton of money, they should go to Retail Jail! I mean, look at this location!  Practically on the front door of Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America….and three feet from the Microsoft – Apple battleground. The traffic can’t get much better!

FD:     Let’s face it, most people are not going in there to buy the $150 Hogwarts Express kit.  They are probably just going home with one of those $7 Bionicles set. 

KR:    Makes me long for those days I had access to percentage rent figures for a major shopping center company:  we want sales numbers!!!  I guess we’ll have to be satisfied with our trip to a reopened Lego Imagination Center we now imagine in two very different ways!

*With a huge tip o’ the hat to Rick Nelson and Claude Peck of Withering Glance!

Follow us on Twitter:               @FloraDelaney and @KayLoire

Flora at Delaney Consulting:

Kay at Shareology:        


Legoland continues to dazzle at Mall of America (and Shareology)! March 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 7:58 pm
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 Sometimes Shareology’s readers surprise her; the number of viewers of the post on the Legoland reopening at Mall of America in December of 2010 has consistently pushed this post to the top of the Shareology pile.  Giving my readers more of what they want, I went back for another look.  At one point I went up to a guy who couldn’t seem to put his camera down while circling Legoland.  A retail espionage agent?  Nope, a guy from Georgia taking photos for a kid he knew who is crazy for Legos.  Ah, memories…..Shareology has a nephew who went through a Duplo and Lego phase…..worked pretty well, too:  he’s now in medical school!  



Finally, the front of the dragon!



the look of love


 Grandpa, Grandma and Granddaughter amazed by the Dragon!

Check out the Tiger and a portion of the Dragon!

Play Area:

It took me until the 2nd trip to realize the play area is actually in the shape of a giant lego!:

The play tables are giant lego connectors!

Who's having more fun? Dad or Daughter??

The scissors from the Grand Opening!


Well that’s it folks; the staff is waiting for you!

For more, put LegoLand in the search box to the right hand side of Shareology:

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire


Legoland reopens at Mall of America! December 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 9:17 pm
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One of the last surprises to debut on Mall of America South is Legoland!  A rework of the Lego store, the black clothes of mystery are no more; Shareology really wishes she had some more 6-year-old boys in her family!

What particularly amazes Shareology about this redo is the continued use of the entire space, which in this case is 3 stories high!  Where else, but perhaps in Times Square, can a retailer use this much space on the outside of the store to tell their story?  3D Merchandising indeed!

this knight and his horse are magical!

this big blue dude dominates!!

There’s also a helicopter that looks incredibly real…..all just in time for holiday shopping!

Kay Roseland    @KayLoire


Mall of America: Microsoft and More! Fall, 2010 September 14, 2010

Shareology took an educational detour past one of the mobile phone stores this lovely September day at Mall of America.  Turns out there is much more than mobile phones going on at MOA, including the white elephant turning logoland next to Legoland:  

Yep, they must be serious: logos have emerged!!


The Microsoft build space on 1st floor South went from the past bright acres of white to the logoland you see above.  More views of the vast retail space about to open this fall (dare we guess October?). 

view of Microsoft build towards Nickelodeon Universe




Speaking of Legoland, Microsoft’s neighbor looks like it too is under construction.  In fact, if my premed nephew was still into his lego collection, he could build the entire new store out of legos!! 

now that's one empty LegoLand!!


So what else is new and coming at Mall of America??? 

LuLuLemon is building!!


A brand new concept, The Art of Shaving, is newly open in that round glassy space in the middle of 1st floor West:  (yep, Andy of Mayberry would feel right at home…) 

The Art of Shaving





Only 2 more items  but they are hot, hot, hot!!   

1.  Hugo Boss is open!! 

even Shareology wants to shop at Hugo Boss!!




For this final item, alas Shareology was at MOA about seven hours too early…..but for the rest of you:   at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 14 was:  (alas, Shareology couldn’t make it work!!!) 


That’s all Folks!!  Happy fall from Shareology!! 

Kay Roseland  @KayLoire


Banish the Winter Blahs at Mall of America! February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 9:42 pm
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Shareology is pretty much done with winter; one might wish that winter felt the same way.   Minneapolis has had its share of snow lately, although the East Coast is waaaaaay ahead of us in flyover land.   What you don’t have on either the East or West Coasts is………..  the Mall of America!   As soon as the latest red and orange warning colors cleared on, Shareology was off to MOA to check out what might be a reason for living.   She found several; however, before she set foot in the actual mall, she had to endure one final blast of white: 

Between the West Parking Ramp and Macy's, Shareology found.......more Snow!!!

 Ed Hardy opened last October and is the perfect place to find a pricey T shirt with attitude: 



One of the oldies but goodies at Mall of America is Legoland, still entertaining kids of all ages: 



The great thing about MOA is you can find stores devoted to just one thing:  say sunglasses — or flip-flops!  Yep, deep in the heart of Minnesota winter, an entire store devoted to flip-flops  with the perfect name of Flips: 



What struck Shareology about this trip to Mall  of America is that there are a boatload of things to do that don’t speak much to traditional retail.  Wanna go wall climbing?   You can do that smack in the middle (OK, off to the NW wall) of Nickelodeon Universe: 




Some windows include a web site these days; some go straight to texting: 


It is approaching Valentine’s Day and there are lots of options: 


remember, dark chocolate is goooood for you!

Two last items before we leave; the first is an important historical note buried in the northwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe: 


Finally, also in Nickelodeon Universe, Shareology found that promise of spring she was looking for: 


All better now!   

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire


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