What to Watch: Phased Openings at American Dream

Luxury retailers are eyeing spring 2020 openings at American Dream.

The Koi Court’s fountain can convert into a catwalk.
Less than five miles from Manhattan, American Dream is in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
“The Hermès boutique at American Dream will open in March 2020. That has actually always been our plan,” Peter Malachi, senior vice president of communications, Hermès U.S., told WWD. “We understood that the luxury wing was scheduled for that date. Bob and I have made a number of visits to the site to see the progress and the work,” Malachi said, referring to Bob Chavez, president and chief executive officer of Hermès U.S. “It’s incredibly impressive and the design is spectacular. We very excited about our unique site and façade within that luxury wing.”
Barneys New York has revealed plans to open in American Dream, though its efforts at the New Jersey complex could be derailed due to the retailer’s bankruptcy filing earlier this month. Barneys’ efforts might be better spent supporting stores already operating. “We are still planned to open in American Dream in spring 2020,” a Barneys spokeswoman said last Friday.

Saks Fifth Avenue also plans to open a store in American Dream sometime next spring, though it’s not clear precisely when.

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.
Several stores could be ready by the Oct. 25 launch while others will flow in as the weeks go by. An executive at off-pricer Century 21 indicated, “At this point, our plan is to open this year.”
Primark indicated that it expects to open in late 2019. American Dream will be the 10th Primark store to open in the U.S.

Last July, American Dream issued a statement on the retail schedule, indicating, “Stores will be opening and over the coming weeks we’ll provide further insights into the property, its attractions and tenants, and the exciting plans and events surrounding the opening and beyond. We’ll be coordinating with our tenants regarding opening announcements.”

Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream, recently told WWD that he anticipates luxury retail will do sales “north of $2,000 per square foot, and the center itself, well in excess of $1,500 per square foot. We’ve positioned American Dream to become the highest-grossing center in North America, given its proximity to New York City. The center was built to drive traffic and generate sales.”

According to sources, delays in getting some of the required permits set some retail opening dates back, though that’s not surprising given American Dream’s long and tortured journey to completion that involved a succession of banks, architects, designers, tenants and developers.

American Dream 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 will American Dream, including a Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park with two roller coasters, a DreamWorks Water Park, a Big Snow Ski and Snowboard Park, an ice skating rink and Angry Birds Miniature Golf.

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