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Retail lives and dies by cool. Concepts connect,

build loyalty, and grow by being cool. They also

disengage, wither, and die by not being cool. If

nothing else, the history of fashion is the history

of what is cool and what is desirable.

But, as anyone in retail will tell you, fashion can be a fickle mistress.

Every generation has had its own definition of cool, but cool

constantly evolves. In today’s media-saturated age some may

argue that the issue of what is cool has never been more important

to consumers, nor has it ever been as likely to change with

lightning speed as it is now.

If retailers live and die by cool, the same also holds true of retail

properties, shopping centers and entire neighborhoods. Whenever

we speak about real estate, the issue of location and a number of

other factors come into play, but the reality is that cool matters. In

an age of frugal consumers, e-commerce encroachment, and vast

gaps in performance between trophy malls and Class B and C

centers, cool matters now more than ever.

How Do You Define Cool?

“I know it when I see it…”

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart describing his threshold

test for obscenity in the landmark 1964 case Jacobellis v. Ohio