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Storecasting: XXI Goes XXL and Nordstrom Gets a Makeover at Los Cerritos Center

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Remember the very funny piece in The Onion about a Starbucks opening a new Starbucks in the bathroom of an existing Starbucks? That's what the recent Forever 21 proliferation reminds us of. They seem to be everywhere, and we were intrigued by the idea of a Forever 21 taking over the behemoth space (83,00 square feet) left by Mervyn's in the Los Cerritos Center, so we decided to check it out. Especially since earlier reports indicated it should be open soon. From the outside, things looked promising. Big, with lots of activity. Closer inspection was required.

Upon our entrance, we were practically overjoyed to find a sign advertising Nordstrom would undergo an expansion that would be completed in Spring 2010. Better yet, we came upon a Yogurtland, with a happy hour! And it was currently happy hour! So we were indeed happy, until we ventured into the rest of the mall to scope on the Forever 21 entrance.

The Los Cerritos mall is like a half-hour television show that is 27 minutes of commercials.

There was an unprecedented number of those hokey kiosk carts in the median, or what should be open space between the rows of stores. Almost a one-to-one store-to-kiosk ratio. Selling items like cell phones, cell phone service, cell phone covers, cell phone cover stickers, clip-on extensions, crimping irons, massage pillows, dead sea salt moisturizers, laser-cut stickers, imitation designer sunglasses, belts with pyramid studs in 20 different colors, and more. All of them staffed by aggressive people who will get up in your face with their product and circle you like a small satellite until you cuss at them and run away. No kidding.

Unfortunately, the city of Cerritos says the supersized Forever 21 may not be open until Spring 2010.

So weigh the options for yourself: a jumbo-size Forever 21, a reborn Nordstrom, a True Religion and a Michael Stars in the next six months, or two to five years in county prison for assaulting a mallworker who tried to rub her aromatherapy moisturizer made from dead sea crystals into your hair?
· Los Cerritos Center [Official Site]

FOREVER 21

239 Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA 90701 Visit Website