beverly hills polo club cologne Thousands flock to opening of new outlet center
Retail is still very much alive and well judging by the crowds that flocked to the new outlet center that opened in Chesterfield this morning.
Traffic was backed up along Highway 40 throughout much of the morning as thousands of bargain hunting shoppers headed to Taubman Prestige Outlets.
A big draw that was the $25 gift cards that were given to the first thousand shoppers in line. Many stores are also offering special discounts throughout the weekend. So overflow parking went to the Hardee’s Iceplex next door. Long lines snaked through many of the stores, including the Polo Ralph Lauren and J. Crew outlet stores.
“I think it shows that St. Louis really needed this,” said Colleen O’Neill, general manager of Taubman Prestige Outlets.
Mall officials have often said that St. Louis is the only top 20 metropolitan market without a true outlet center. They note that St. Louis Outlet Mall, formerly the Mills, has both full price and outlet stores.
000 square foot outdoor center is more than 80 percent leased. About 47 stores, which make up about 70 percent of the center, opened today. A number of stores will continue to open in coming weeks and into the spring.
Robert Taubman, the chief executive of Taubman Centers, said during the opening ceremony that two more retailers Juicy Couture and Solstice had just submitted paperwork for permits so they can open in October.
Eateries in the food court will not open for another few weeks. So several food trucks were on hand to feed hungry shoppers.
Another source of excitement was that the center is dog friendly. If stores have a dog sticker on their storefront, that indicates dogs can be brought inside the store. Water bowls and dog waste bags are dot the central corridor of the outdoor center.
Taubman has a couple of other dog friendly outdoor centers around the country.
O’Neill said she had received a couple of complaints from shoppers in advance of the opening who were not keen about shopping alongside dogs. But she said the vast majority of feedback she has received has been positive.