New Canaan Businesses “Not Anxious” About SoNo Collection, Darien Redevelopment Competition


With the approved SoNo Collection mall in Norwalk and the proposed Corbin/Post Road redevelopment in Darien, the immediate area around New Canaan will see an influx of new retail shops during the next two to three years. These projects spark the question, what impact will these new stores have on local New Canaan businesses?

Chamber of Commerce Marketing Associate Laura Budd said the Chamber is looking positively at the increased competition. “We like it that other areas close to us are upping their game in terms of shopping,” Budd said. “We believe it makes southwestern Connecticut and our town more of a destination for shoppers.”

Credit: General Growth Properties

Credit: General Growth Properties

Located just off I-95, the million-square-foot SoNo Collection will bring Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and 80 to 100 smaller retailers to Norwalk, according to The Hour.

Meanwhile, the proposed Corbin/Post Road redevelopment in Darien, which would also have 66 apartments, will bring a total of 75,000 square feet of retail space (up from the existing 49,000 square feet) and 95,000 square feet of office space (up from 42,000 square feet), according to The Darienite.

While New Canaan business owners are not exactly excited about the increased competition, the consensus seems to be that New Canaanites will continue to support their local businesses.

Pennyweights owner Geoff Sigg said the neighboring developments could potentially bring more people to shop in the New Canaan area. “It’s not something that keeps me up at night,” Sigg said. “[Pennyweights] doesn’t have the chain store vibe.”

As a clothing store owner, Mary Jane Setter of Togs is “not excited” for the influx of stores. “The market is already flooded,” Setter said. However, she believes “good prices and unique pieces,” as well as the town atmosphere are reasons shoppers will be drawn to New Canaan.

“I find malls overwhelming,” Setter said. “I think people will still come to New Canaan for the nice community feeling and for being outside and walking around.”

Heidi Burrows, owner of New Canaan Olive Oil, said, “In my experience, those who live in New Canaan shop in New Canaan, so I don’t think this will take away from the business.” But, as a person who formerly worked in a mall, she added, “I think [malls] are declining. I don’t think the area needs it.”

Vineyard Vines owner Kinsey Ferguson is “not anxious at all.”

“I don’t think this will impact business at all. People in New Canaan are loyal to our brand and store,” Ferguson said.

The Chamber says Norwalk and Darien’s projects are, in fact, a “compliment” to New Canaan.

“We see the SoNo Collection and development in Darien as a compliment,” Budd said. “They are trying to recreate what we naturally have in New Canaan – a condensed shopping district with a wide variety of stores and restaurants.”

One thought on “New Canaan Businesses “Not Anxious” About SoNo Collection, Darien Redevelopment Competition

  1. New Canaan has a beautiful, quaint shopping area, but parking is an issue there and makes it inconvenient for those non-New Canaanites to navigate convenient parking.

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