The buzz has been building in the past year, and the time has come! Just in time for Tax Free Weekend in the lead-up to back-to-school, Taubman Prestige Outlets opens in Chesterfield on Friday, Aug. 2.
In addition to taking advantage of the tax holiday, the first 1,000 guests on opening day will receive a $25 gift card to use as they peruse the many grand-opening specials offered by the shopping center’s stores throughout the weekend. Opening weekend also will feature entertainment, including visits from Fredbird, Cardinal Glennon’s Rally Squirrel, a magician and more.
The new outlet mall, located at the Boone’s Crossing exit on North Outer 40 Road, will be unique to the area for its outdoor, walkable layout, which features four rooftop pavilions with skylights to shelter shoppers from inclement weather. The property also is dog-friendly, with the majority of stores allowing dogs in to shop.
General manager Colleen O’Neill notes that Taubman, which owns 27 shopping centers across the country, makes a point of becoming an integral part of the communities it serves. “I want people to feel it’s a destination where they are always welcome,” she says. “It’s not just a mall, but a place where they can go hang out, relax and enjoy coming to events that we host and see us as a part of their community. Many people think of outlet shopping as an in-and-out kind of thing—how many stores can you hit in 30 minutes—and if you want to come and shop quickly, that’s fine. But our property is built for people to come and stay. We have several amenities that are so different, I think people are going to want to stick around.”
The mall will open with more than 80 percent of its 310,000-square-foot space leased, including many super-sized anchor stores, O’Neill notes. Restoration Hardware, which is opening its 16th outlet, will fill 18,000 square feet, with Abercrombie & Fitch occupying another 15,000 square feet. Also among 47 stores opening are Italian handbag line Furla, Uno de 50 (which will be the brand’s first-ever outlet), and local companies, including Treats Unleashed and Collective Outlet, a cooperative that also features a variety of vendors at the Mercantile Exchange downtown. “Through next spring, there are a variety of retailers new to the industry looking for an outlet vehicle, and I feel our center is going to be capturing many of those,” O’Neill adds.
Beyond the opening weekend, Taubman Prestige Outlets is planning a full calendar of activities year-round, which will include ongoing weekend entertainment during the summer months, as well as pet-friendly holiday events, O’Neill adds. It also is becoming an active player in the local nonprofit community, with support for organizations including Humane Society of Missouri, Food Outreach, Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, Chesterfield Arts and more.
Even with another outlet mall soon-to-open nearby, O’Neill says the retail in the area will be complementary and fill a need that has—until now—been underserved in St. Louis. “It really is going to be a destination. Until now, St. Louisans have had to drive to go to outlets—either to the Lake or to Branson,” O’Neill says. “All of the other top-20 markets have at least one outlet center, and that’s one of the things we haven’t had.”