We posted last Friday on the news that a new Express store will open this coming year at the Miller Hill Mall. In our posting though we were unable to secure the exact location on where Express would be opening shop within the Miller Hill Mall. Like we said, they would need a larger space compared to a normal clothing retailer due to carrying two concepts usually at one site (Men's and Women's). Sources this past week say the most recent rumors of changes at the Miller Hill Mall in fact do include a closing of a store to make room for Express. Now, as we just mentioned, these are only rumors we have heard and that none of the following information has been confirmed. Well, except for the fact that Express will be opening in Duluth with their own recent confirmation by posting available jobs for the new store.
So where exactly will Express be going? Let's just a the moose will finally have to migrate from the mall. That's right. According to our sources, Abercrombie and Fitch will close up shop at the Miller Hill Mall in the coming months to make room for the new Express store. Now whether or not this is a voluntary closure we do not know. Abercrombie and Fitch as a company has been doing poorly for the last few years due to the weak economy and a general lack of interest in the brand due to high prices and stagnant design. What this has caused them to do is close 185 stores in the last two years. Those stores included locations at the Southdale Center in Edina, MN, Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, MN, and The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, MN. The company still has four stores within that state at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, Rosedale Center in Roseville, MN and the Apache Mall in Rochester, MN (of our couse Duluth). In July 2012, ANF released the news that they plan to close an additional 180 stores by 2015 and therefore reduce the brand to under 1,000 locations world-wide. This is in hopes that it will make the brand more "unique" and also make the stores more of a "destination." Some sources are actually reporting however that it was the choice of the Miller Hill Mall to not renew their lease and therefore force the exit of Abercrombie and Fitch. We have yet to get the official word on this. But for us that sounds a little too odd as a mall would tend to not want to lose a well known brand such as Abercrombie and Fitch. From what we've heard too is that the Duluth location actually does quite well. So could there be a possible new location of Abercrombie and Fitch down the road? It's too soon to say. The closing of Abercrombie and Fitch will not affect their other store at the mall, Hollister, in anyway.
There is another rumor regarding a move within the mall and the welcoming of a new tenant to be reported. Sources have begun to report that Motherhood Maternity (located across from Hollister) will be moving in the coming year to a new location in the mall in order to welcome a new tenant into not only Duluth, but the Northland. They made a recent splash in the Northland this past year when a local department store began carrying their exclusive items. Have you guessed yet? Get ready to officially welcome...Coach. When we reported news that Coach products were going to be sold at the Younkers store in the Miller Hill Mall we reported that it was very likely that the company would also open a stand alone store within the mall depending on how well their products sold within Younker's (this is normal for them to do). Sources now are saying that Coach will be opening an inline store in the space that currently is occupied by Motherhood Maternity. Pregnant women do not fear. You will not lose your one stop shop for maternity wear, as we said earlier, they reportedly will be moving within the mall to a new location. Maybe into the vacant space next to DressBarn? This could be good news for the maternity shop as it could allow them to rebrand their image in Duluth to include their new prototype which is called "Destination Maternity," a store that actually includes two stores within the space (Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod). Please do remember that this move and welcoming of a new Coach store has yet to be confirmed. We are assuming the mall is waiting until the end of February to announce the changes coming to the mall within the next year and the new tenants the mall will be welcoming. Our tally so far include Express for sure and the possibility of Coach.
That's all for now!
*** Also we have attached a link below to showcase the new Express prototype that debuted earlier this month. This new store prototype rids the store of its traditional red and white facade that we had mentioned and instead takes the store down a whole new architectural journey. Cross your fingers that Duluth has the delight of welcoming this beauty!