NOVI, Mich. (WXYZ) — No one knows more about Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi than Dan Jones. He’s been running the Taubman property for the last 17 years.
“The mall is one of the first things here that grounded Novi in its popularity,” said General Manager Dan Jones.
Breaking ground 40 years ago and sitting right off I-96 on Novi Road, it was the ideal area for development.
“Many people will say it put Novi on the map,” said Jones.
Johnston and Murphy have been here in the same spot since day one.
Although Macy’s, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and JC Penney are anchoring the mall now, the definition of anchor stores is evolving.
“What we consider anchors are places that really draw people in. Apple, Cheesecake Factory, Lululemon,” said Jones.
So, is online shopping taking anything away from business?
“The better retailers have figured out it’s not an either-or proposition, it’s not online vs. brick and mortar, the two work together,” said Jones.
Twelve Oaks offers more than just retail.
“We have elements that appeal to very young children, we have programs that appeal to our senior citizens and literally everything in between,” said Jones.
Every day, around 8 am, the mall walkers hit the floor.
“Mall walking is just a wonderful opportunity to get out and get some exercise when the weather is horrible,” said Novi resident Patty D’Annibale.
“I’ve been mall walking basically in the winter time for the last two years and I’ve actually lost a couple of pounds,” said D’Annibale.
Partnering with the DMC, Twelve Oaks has roughly 2,600 registered mall walkers.
“While it has some physical attributes, ultimately, it’s a nice social gathering for a lot of the folks that stay afterwards, have coffee at Starbucks or Nordstrom Ebar,” said Jones.
Jones says success is having a pulse on the needs of the consumer.
“A lot of it is consistently keeping up with current trends, looking into the future, understand what uses the customer wants,” added Jones.
The big project in 2020? Crate and Barrel is moving in – and it will be the only location in the state of Michigan.
“As far as what the shopping center means to the community, I think the great thing is when you walk in Twelve Oaks, it’s clean, it’s safe, it is fun, it’s festive,” said Jones.