By  on September 10, 2008

Nordstrom has arrived as a key piece of a $250 million renovation and expansion of The Oaks shopping center in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

The Seattle-based retail chain opened a 138,000-square-foot store Thursday, joining retailers such as Kate Spade, Hollister, Aéropostale and American Eagle Outfitters, as well as Macy's and J.C. Penney.

The 30-year-old mall near Los Angeles was last overhauled in 1993. The expansion, which is expected to be complete by late fall, features a two-story outdoor lifestyle wing, the addition of about 40 retailers and several restaurants. A 74,000-square-foot Muvico Theater, the chain's first West Coast location, is slated to open early next year.

"The luxury market in this area has been underserved, and we think Nordstrom is a step in the right direction in terms of meeting that demand," said John Genovese, Macerich's executive vice president of development.

The opening comes as Golden State retailers continue to struggle. California accounts for 32 percent of Nordstrom's sales.

The retailer, which operates about 160 stores in 28 states, has six full-line stores and four Nordstrom Rack units in the Los Angeles area. The company plans to open a total of eight U.S. stores this year and five next year. A Nordstrom will anchor Macerich¹s Santa Monica Place property, which is being redeveloped, and is to open in fall 2010.

'Marketing is a big part of" the renewal effort at The Oaks, Genovese said. "There are retail concepts out there now that weren't around even five years ago. You always have to stay on top of the retail merchandise mix and keep up with new retailers and concepts."

Thousand Oaks and the surrounding communities are relative strongholds of wealth in Los Angeles County. Almost 400,000 residents are in what's known as the primary trade area - the region from which a retail development typically draws the vast majority of its business. They have average incomes of $112,000 a year, according to the latest government statistics.

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