The year was 1994.
I was a junior in college and working as a waitress at a pseudo-Mexican restaurant called Cabo Cabo Cabo in Los Angeles’ Century City Shopping Center. It was the kind of establishment that had cowhide barstools, a barrel of peanuts by the door, and tasty but inauthentic south-of-the-border cuisine (think lobster corn chowder, pineapple salsa, and coconut ceviche).
When the restaurant closed a year later, no one was surprised. The location, on the north side of the mall, facing Santa Monica Boulevard, had been a revolving door of eateries. And it continued that way for years—evidence, I couldn’t help but think, of the plight facing all malls.
Last year, however, the mall, renamed Westfield Century City in 2005, was reborn as one of the country’s most promising shopping centers. Read all about its billion-dollar transformation in the third installment of our Malls of America series, where contributor Chris Willman details how the luxury shopping destination appeals to Gen Zers, seniors, and every demographic in between.
While the secret to experiential retail involves a lot more than simply selling good product, don’t underestimate the power of a spot-on selection. In our two-part Holiday Survival Guide, we suggest a bevy of trendy styles sure to lure shoppers (“The Gift of Fab”) and follow up with a strategic selling guide designed to help you maximize sales this season (“No Business Like Snow Business”).
If you’re interested in maximizing profits, don’t miss senior editor Emili Vesilind’s eye-opening feature on the dollars you’re leaving on the table by overlooking the massive opportunity in repairs (“Get Your Repairs in Order”).
Given that this sales- and profits-themed issue is also our yearly ode to girls with pearls, take a moment to admire the pieces draped, swirled, stacked, and piled on our gorgeous cover model in “Pearl Domination,” a clear sign that minimalism is for the birds.
Last but not least, you’ll find our annual wedding section. We introduce you to 20 au courant ring styles curated by jewelry director Randi Molofsky (“Digital Assets”), then overwhelm you with sales tips culled from some of the best bridal brainiacs we know (“Before You Go on Your Marry Way…” by JCK’s All That Glitters blogger Amy Elliott).
As you gear up for what I hope is a positively humming holiday season, may the (sales) force be with you!
Top: Mastoloni’s Gifts From the Sea double-hoop earrings in 14k yellow gold with 7.5 mm–8 mm white freshwater pearls and diamonds ($1,575)
Gomelsky photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources