Outlet mall officials celebrating the addition of six new stores couldn't help but look to the future — and the potential for another expansion.
Shoppers got their first look at some of the new retailers Friday, which include Columbia Sportswear Co., Kenneth Cole, Lucky Brand Outlet, Coach Men's Factory and Loft Outlet. A Waterford crystal store is expected to open next week.
The 27,800-square-foot addition on the mall's southwest end was completed just 15 months after the mall, at Interstate 40 and Council Road, first opened. It's the fastest addition to any of Horizon Group Properties' projects, said Chief Executive Officer Gary Skoien.
“It rarely happens that you have an addition to a shopping center so quickly,” he said.
Developers are laying out plans for a second addition and expect to begin marketing it next month. Gina Slechta, a spokeswoman for Horizon Group, said her office received numerous calls from retailers interested in opening in the mall after reading about the opening of phase two.
Columbia Sportswear, which anchors the south end of the addition, is expected to be a big draw to the center. Shopper Cindy Clark was shopping the store for boots on Friday. She said she's originally from Illinois and familiar with Columbia, which specializes in cold-weather outerwear and accessories.
“Oklahoma needed something,” she said.
Loft Outlet, which anchors the north end, is another attractive retailer. Loft Outlet is under the umbrella of Ann Inc., which also operates Ann Taylor stores. And Coach Men is a relatively new concept for Coach; there are only about a dozen stores nationwide, Skoien said.
November's unseasonably warm weather didn't stop mall officials from adorning the buildings with Christmas lights and hanging giant snowflakes across the aisles. A tree lighting ceremony is planned for Nov. 20, with Santa Claus arriving by horse and carriage to light the mall's 25-foot tree.
Stores open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night for an “All Night Madness Party,” with free pumpkin pie and hot chocolate.