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Macy’s adds 50,000 square feet

Grand re-opening set for Saturday

Posted: November 4, 2009 9:18 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Merian Wakelin, Specialist at the Impulse department arranges her section of women's clothings at Macy's Monday morning. The newly expanded store will hold its grand re-opening on Saturday.

Change is in the air at the Macy's in Westfield Valencia Town Center, and it's not that Christmas decorations are about to go up.

After a roughly yearlong construction process, the store has added nearly 50,000-square-feet of retail space. On Monday, store manager Robert Sleigh expected the finishing touches to be complete in time for Saturday's grand re-opening.

"We're right on schedule," Sleigh said. "We wanted to be done before the holiday season."

Located at the mall since 1993, the Macy's space - home to a Robinsons-May prior to 2006 - was increased to 178,000 square-feet from 123,000 square-feet.

In addition to some permanent jobs, Sleigh said, the expansion also necessitated the addition of 100 holiday season jobs.

"We're excited about what it does for the community," he said.

One of the most-requested expansions? The women's shoe department, Sleigh said, and added: "it's definitely been a home run."

The juniors section has also been expanded, he said, and small seating areas have been added throughout the store.

"It really is about make sure our customers feel comfortable shopping here," Sleigh said, as the shoe department bustled with activity on an otherwise quiet Monday morning.

Several vendors have been added, including: Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Lucky, Juicy Couture, Urban Decay and Bare Escentuals.

The menswear section has also been expanded, including a larger shoe section and what Sleigh said is one of the largest Levi denim shops in Southern California.

"This has been a great vendor for us," he said.

The housewares section is larger, and spokeswoman Milinda Martin said as the national recession has persisted, sales of cookware and related items have remained steady.

More space means Macy's has also been able to reintroduce its Christmas shop section, Sleigh said.

Sleigh and Martin also spoke highly of the My Macy's program first rolled in 2008. The buying initiative uses customer feedback to help tailor store offerings to specific markets.

"Our customers have really been vocal about what they want," Sleigh said.

Macy's grand re-opening starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the first 250 customers who enter through the south entrance will receive a $10 gift card. There are a number of activities scheduled through the afternoon.


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