Marketing managers at the Citadel Mall hope two new stores with a total footprint of more than 96,000 square feet will bring a flurry of new customers to the area just in time for the holiday season.
In addition to the Sportsman’s Warehouse, which opens Nov. 23 in the former Citadel Plaza, and Steve & Barry’s, opening inside Citadel Mall, several stores are getting new looks and locations.
“We’re very excited about all the movement we’ve had in recent months,” said Senior Marketing Manager Diane Loschen. “It’s unusual to have this much movement, but it provides an opportunity for new looks for permanent stores, as well as bringing new customers to the center.”
Steve & Barry’s will become a junior anchor at the mall when it opens a 44,000-square-foot store on Nov. 18. The store will be the second in Colorado. A Longmont store opens the day before, marking the chain’s aggressive move into new markets.
“We’ll have 30 more open by the end of the year,” said spokesman Rick Gomes. “We now have 91 stores in 27 states, but we plan to open more very rapidly. It’s in response to the consumers’ needs. We get between 100 and 200 e-mails a week, asking us to move into a new market.”
The store sells men’s, women’s and children’s clothing – but nothing sells for more than $9.98. Everything from down jackets to sweatshirts is priced below $10, Gomes said.
Low price doesn’t mean cheap, Gomes said. The store’s buyers are careful to purchase only high-quality merchandise. The store doesn’t look like a typical discount space either, he said.
Planned by two childhood friends, Steve Shore and Barry Prevor, the first store opened at the University of Pennsylvania, with the mission to sell clothing items at better prices than the local bookstore. The franchise grew from there, and opened its first mall-based store in 1998.
“We study a market carefully before we move into it,” Gomes said. “And we know that Colorado Springs has Steve & Barry shoppers. We look for enclosed mall locations, and we seek to be either the anchor or the junior anchor in each store.”
The Sportsman’s Warehouse opening also marks the company’s aggressive move into new markets.
From just one location in 1996, when owner Stu Uttgaard purchased it, the store now has 43 locations in the West and Midwest, with plans to move into other markets. The Colorado Springs location joins other Colorado stores in Aurora, Littleton, Thornton, Grand Junction and Loveland.
“We’re definitely going to break into Eastern markets,” said local store manager Darin McDaniel. “For instance, we’re opening a store in Oklahoma City on the same day we open the new Colorado Springs stores.”
Sportsman’s Warehouse offers a full line of hunting, fishing and camping equipment, as well as guided hunting and fishing trips around Southern Colorado.
The new stores are part of much larger changes at the mall. Loschen said the Citadel has updated more than 130,000 square feet for new or remodeled stores.
Several stores are completing new looks, as well as new locations: Merle Norman, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Journey’s and Spencer’s Gifts all moved to new parts of the mall. In addition, the mall will open several new stores: Panda Express, Hollister’s, Express Men’s and Hibachi.
“All these stores will open before Thanksgiving,” Loschen said. “Two of them: Express Men’s and Hollister’s are new to the market. We’re the only mall that has them. Hollister’s is a branch of Abercrombie & Fitch, so they remodeled to create that store.”
Loschen said that once the stores are opened, the Citadel will be at 95 percent capacity.
“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “Steve & Barry’s coming in meant that many stores were able to remodel in new locations. We’re very excited about it; stores got new looks as a result. Next year, there won’t be as many opportunities; we’ll have much less movement.”