Today, Melrose Avenue stands as one of the longest and most famous stretches of independently owned and operated retailers in the world. Consequently, it does not weather the regular economic downturn of the business cycle in the same way commercial enterprises such as The Grove, The Beverly Center or Third Street Promenade do, nor does it adapt as quickly as smaller independent shopping areas like West Third Street, Los Feliz or Abbot Kinney.
From a piece that ran here in response to an L.A. Times business story from September 2010 that said Melrose couldn’t hack it in a rough economy. Not to mention, according to the piece, Melrose is falling off in other ways:
Although store owners blame the recession for their woes, others contend that Melrose’s problems go deeper than the economy. They say the shopping district has fallen from its glory days because of an increasingly run-down feel, restrictive parking measures and an excess of shops all selling the same poorly made apparel from downtown L.A.’s Fashion District.
For many years I lived within walking distance of Melrose. It’s the place for hard-core shopping and celebrity sightings, but its core shopping area is only a few blocks long. Seven days a week, especially on Sunday for some reason, it pulsates with the vibe and energy that’s SoCal L.A. Was it always so?
Of course the downside to Melrose is that sometimes a store you like will just up and leave (Fat Beats).
Still, for me, the hardest thing to accept about the place (and this is something I can’t get used to in California at all) is that it shuts down pretty earlier. Melrose is a ghost town after 11p.m. and it’s pretty light on bars.
But I love it anyway, about time someone dedicated a song to the spot.