Retailers Unveil Delays at American Dream

COVID-19 and construction delays are impacting the phased opening of the mega entertainment and retail complex.

North America’s first indoor ski park, Big Snow, is bowing at American Dream.

The debut of retailing at American Dream is delayed yet again.

Saks Fifth Avenue, the big luxury anchor coming to American Dream, is now pointing toward a March 2021 opening, sources told WWD.

Hermès, another major retail tenant headed for American Dream, has not set a date for its opening there, according to a spokesman for the French luxury brand. Another source said a 2021 opening for Hermès is a possibility.

Abercrombie & Fitch is planning to open Hollister and Abercrombie kids stores in American Dream, but a company spokeswoman indicated that an opening date for those stores hasn’t been determined.

Tiffany, Moncler, Dolce & Gabbana and Watches of Switzerland are among the other luxury brands planning stores at American Dream. Less expensive retailers in the works include Century 21, Primark, Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Gap and Aritzia.

American Dream, located in East Rutherford, N.J., is owned by the Canadian conglomerate Triple Five, which owns and operates the two largest shopping centers in North America — West Edmonton Mall and Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Both feature major entertainment components, as does American Dream.

In October, American Dream did open some of the entertainment components, including a Big Snow Ski and Snowboard Park. The center drew some good-size crowds at that point. However, on March 17, American Dream closed to the public due to the pandemic.

“We haven’t yet determined a reopening date for American Dream’s attractions, but hope to reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so under the state’s guidance,” said a spokeswoman. “I cannot confirm that any retailers have postponed openings to March 2021. We plan to open retail as soon as possible.”

COVID-19 and construction delays, as well as the liquidation of Barneys New York last February, has delayed the long-awaited retail unveil. American Dream has not revealed what retail will fill the void left by Barneys, which was supposed to occupy 50,000 square feet over two levels.

“We’ve moved on from Barneys. There are a number of tenants fighting and actually outbidding each other,” American Dream chief executive officer Don Ghermezian said in a recent interview.

It’s unclear whether two missed rent payments by the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., in April and May, has affected the retail progress at American Dream.

According to sources, delays in getting some of the required permits set some retail opening dates back.

“American Dream has been affected by construction and tenancy issues. People [retailers] don’t want to open with half completed construction,” said one retail source close to the development. “It wasn’t the virus,” delaying some opening plans.


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