Macy’s is opening a 140,000-square-foot unit in Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, Ill. in spring 2013, representing the retailer’s first store in an outlet center.

This story first appeared in the May 24, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Macy’s will be in a wing getting redeveloped into a setting for full-price stores.

“The addition of Macy’s as part of our new full-price retail wing creates a true hybrid destination with a combination of full-price, outlet and value retail selections,” said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills, a division of Simon Property Group Inc. “The most frequent request we get is for true one-stop shopping incorporating the best of retail.” Gurnee Mills has more than 200 stores including Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Saks Off 5th, Forever 21, H&M, as well as outlets for Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, Abercrombie & Fitch and Nike, among others.

The news was not surprising since at Macy’s Inc.’s annual meeting Friday, Terry Lundgren, chairman, chief executive officer and president, spoke of possibly opening stores in or near outlet centers and praised mall operators for increasing their budgets for redeveloping properties this year, with few possibilities left in the overstored country for building anew.

Asked what motivated Macy’s to select an outlet center, Jim Sluzewski, Macy’s corporate spokesman, said, “More than anything else, it was geographical. This was an opportunity to get into a portion of the Chicago market we were not already servicing. Gurnee is far north of metro Chicago. It’s a well-established high-traffic center with really good visibility. Simon is looking to breathe new life into it.” Gurnee Mills will be Macy’s 19th store in the market. If it performs well, Macy’s might open more units in outlet centers, if spaces open up. There are 16 Mills properties including Arundel Mills in Baltimore, Ontario Mills in Los Angeles, Potomac Mills in Washington and Sawgrass Mills near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.“We are looking at all sorts of new ideas,” Sluzewski said.

Also, Macy’s will open a two-level, 150,000-square-foot store in Southridge Mall in Greendale, Wis., in spring 2012, on the site of a former’s Younkers that has been subdivided for retailers. The building will remodeled as part of a renovated Southridge Mall, which is also owned by Simon.

The Macy’s announcements coincide with the International Council of Shopping Centers convention this week in Las Vegas, where developers and retailers tout projects and strategies.

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