Valley Fair in San Jose adds merchants, reaches record sales, visits
SAN JOSE — Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose has begun to attract visitors and retail activity at levels that top the big shopping mall’s trends prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The retail center is also going through a stretch where it is attracting merchants at a brisk pace, according to Sue Newsom, senior general manager with Westfield Valley Fair.
After the opening of the popular Eataly Italian food hall at Valley Fair, the retail complex is preparing for the openings of other high-profile merchants.
Plus, Valley Fair has achieved key benchmarks lately, the center’s officials say.
“Our foot traffic has been exceptional,” Newsom said. “We now are way beyond our pre-COVID retail sales and foot traffic.”
Valley Fair also climbed to a fresh pinnacle for visitors, as measured by foot traffic.
“Our current foot traffic is at an all-time record high,” Newsom said.
The upswing in retail sales and visitors has arrived on the heels of the completion of Valley Fair’s $1.1 billion expansion and renovation.
“As we expand and gain more retailers, food concepts, stores and entertainment, Valley Fair continues to evolve as a destination,” Newsom said.
The expansion added a three-level Bloomingdale’s department store, a Showplace ICON luxury cinema, a new Apple Store and 500,000 square feet of new interior shop space.
A restaurant row with Eataly that adjoins what’s become a bustling outdoor plaza was also added.
The revamp has transformed Valley Fair into a center that features experiences and not simply stores and dining sites.
Recent openings include:
- Byredo, a Europe-themed maker of perfumes and home accessories
- Celine, a French women’s apparel brand
- Kate Spade New York, a fashion retailer
- Warby Parker, an eyewear store
- Alo Yoga, a yoga wear and accessories store
- Stevens Creek Lincoln auto dealer
Valley Fair is also anticipating a number of high-profile openings during 2023, according to mall offiicials.
“We are really rounding out the retail, dining and entertainment destination here,” Newsom said.
Among the upcoming arrivals:
- Escape Game, a concept that challenges players to solve clues to escape a closed room
- Bowlero, a bowling alley that also offers billiards, bars, private lanes and a full food menu
- Vacheron Constantin, a retailer of luxury Swiss watches
- Several existing retailers are remodeling or expanding, including Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and Burberry
- Marugame Udon and the first Northern California location of Baekjeong Korean BBQ are among the upcoming restaurants.
“Baekjeong Korean and Marugame Udon will help us to round out our Asian food collection,” Newsom said.
The onset of the coronavirus resulted in wide-ranging business shutdowns starting in March 2020 and dramatic changes in how people shopped and dined.
Three years later, consumers have resumed in-person shopping in significantly greater numbers, raising the fortunes of numerous retail centers such as Westfield Valley Fair.
Valley Fair officials also won’t be deterred by the prospect that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the France-based principal owner of Westfield Valley Fair and south San Jose’s Westfield Oakridge, has launched efforts in recent years to sell these and numerous other retail centers worldwide.
“Nothing has changed in terms of grinning Valley Fair,” Newsom said.
Valley Fair executives believe their current strategy for adding merchants is working for the mall.
“The retailers we have added and the ones that are coming on board demonstrate continued demand for in-person shopping and unique experiences,” Newsom said.