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New retail stores, highlights for vacation shoppers in Charlotte


The holiday shopping season kicked off early this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with retailers staying from the Black Friday launch to help with social distancing in stores.  Pictured, shoppers are reflected in a Christmas decoration hanging from the tree at SouthPark Mall.

The holiday shopping season kicked off early this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with retailers staying from the Black Friday launch to help with social distancing in stores. Pictured, shoppers are reflected in a Christmas decoration hanging from the tree at SouthPark Mall.

Observer file photo

As the holiday shopping season officially kicks off this week in traditional Black Friday fashion, Charlotte-area malls have new places and new ways to shop.

Charlotte shoppers are expected to spend $1,517, the same or more than last year, The Charlotte Observer reported from a survey by industry research firm Deloitte.

And, as in recent years since the pandemic, retailers have made changes focused on consumer convenience and rolled out new concepts with stores within stores.

More convenience

In addition to new stores, Charlotte-area malls have also added new convenient features such as a carpool spot at Concord Mills Mall and Charlotte Premium Outlets in Steele Creek. Both are owned by Simon, who also launched Simon Search at SouthPark Mall, an online tool used to check store inventory before leaving home.

Stores within stores

Several retailers have also forged store-to-store partnerships in the Charlotte area, including national retailers Sephora at Kohl’s and Toys R Us at Macy’s in the SouthPark and Northlake malls.

Texas-based home goods store Conn’s made its debut in stores in Charlotte Belk. The SouthPark mall flagship store of the iconic hometown department store chain was the launch site for Christian Siriano and Gloria Vanderbilt’s waist-inclusive denim collection. About 100 people came out one rainy evening to meet Siriano, fashion designer and winner and mentor of Season 4 of the TV show “Project Runway.” CEO Jack Gross was also present at the event.

New retail concepts

Earlier this month, Binghamton, NY-based retail chain Dick’s Sporting Goods launched its Going, Going, Gone! in North Carolina opening in Concord, reported The Charlotte Observer. The Afton Ridge mall store offers thousands of clothing and footwear brands, including Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, with up to 70% off, according to Dick’s.

In July, Best Buy opened its first small-format digital store at Monroe Crossing Mall, 2115 W. Roosevelt Blvd., The Charlotte Observer reported. The store encourages customers to shop and pay digitally while in the store and includes pickup lockers. The Minnesota-based electronics retailer also piloted its first point-of-sale, first automotive installation garage and first “experience” center in the Charlotte area, as well as additional warehouse space for online orders. line and extensive technical repair and support.

New retailers

In September, Outdoor Voices opened its first store in North Carolina in the South Charlotte neighborhood. Activewear competitor Lululemon opened at 100 W. Worthington Ave. Prices for the activewear brand range from $58 to $118 for women’s leggings and men’s shorts and sweatpants, according to the company’s website.

Last month, Warby Parker opened its third store in the Charlotte area at Birkdale Village, 16834 Birkdale Commons Parkway, Huntersville. It’s the fifth store in North Carolina for the 12-year-old New York-based company. Other stores that have opened in the renovated 250,000 square foot mall include Cosmo Gypsy, bohemian women’s clothing, and Beck on Broad, women’s clothing and accessories, as well as homewares.

Also last month, Girl Tribe Co. women’s clothing and accessories opened a 1,700 square foot store at the Morrison Mall in SouthPark. The flagship store is in South End.

Here’s what’s new at the largest malls in the Charlotte area:

Caroline Square

BoxLunch, offering women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, homewares, gifts and collectibles, is open on Level 1 near Center Court. For every $10 spent, a meal is provided to someone in need through its partnership with Feeding America, according to the mall’s website.

The Cotton on Kids children’s clothing store is open.

Go Calendars & Games is open on Level 1, near Belk.

The mall at 11025 Carolina Place Parkway in Pineville has 141 stores.

Charlotte Premium Outlets

Charlotte Premium Outlets has several new stores:

Adidas has expanded into the former Jade Forest Day Spa space, nearly doubling in size.

Banter by Piercing Pagoda is open across from Market Hall, between Swarovski and The Movado Company Store.

Boss, a brand of Hugo Boss AG, menswear store is next to Saks Off 5e Street.

Journeys, a clothing, shoe and accessory store for teens, is set to open Nov. 28 near Steve Madden and Ecco.

Vans “Off the Wall” Outlet with infant and adult footwear is across from the Nike Factory Store.

Direct Tools Factory Outlet offers brands such as RYOBI, RIDGID and Hoover and factory new, stained and reconditioned products. It’s in front of Polo Ralph Lauren.

Charlotte Premium Outlets at 5404 New Fashion Way off Interstate 485 in Steele Creek has 105 stores, according to the mall’s website.

Concord Mills

Concord Mills has had several store openings and re-openings:

Alex Baby & Toy with toy brands like GI Joe, Masters of the Universe, Lego, Marvel and Star Wars opened next door to Burlington.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, known for its deep Chicago pizzas, craft beers and Pizookie dessert, has opened Entrance 2 near the Bonefish Grill.

Hickory Farms, known for its specialty meats, cheeses and desserts, is located in a kiosk near customer services.

The Inspiration Co., has been selling jewelry, gifts and apparel, with inspirational sayings since 2017. Next to J. Crew Factory.

Komma Tea, which serves tea and other beverages, as well as desserts, next to Five Below and Glamor Nails. A second mall is also in the works, according to Simon.

Mac’s Speedshop, Charlotte-based barbecue restaurant.

New Square, an Atlanta-based men’s and women’s urban casual clothing store across from Old Navy.

Opulence Furniture, with high-end handcrafted furniture made in Italy. Close to Dope Duffle.

A Sneaker City, which offers to buy, sell and trade on sneaker and streetwear brands. In front of Five Below.

Starbucks, Seattle-based coffee giant offers coffee and teas, as well as pastries and other foods. Next to Rack Room Shoes.

Vivian Jewelers, specializing in silver, gold and stainless steel jewelry. Close to Best Buy and Bass Pro.

Concord Mills at 8111 Concord Mills Blvd., northeast of Charlotte, has 184 stores, according to the mall’s website.

Northlake Shopping Center

Despite Northlake Mall’s financial difficulties, new stores and restaurants have opened:

Designer Closet opens next month, according to the mall’s website.

Go Calendars & Games is open at level 2.

Juicy Body Goddess, a shop with generous curves. Located on level 2.

The Georgia-based Juicy Crab has opened.

Kitokos, a black-owned African clothing and accessories store. Located on level 1.

Mean Mug Coffee Co. opened its second kiosk.

Rainbow, a clothing and accessories store for women and children. Located on level 2 near Belk.

Scrub Shack, uniform store, is open, on level 1.

Style Hause, a boutique of vintage clothing, art, customs and collectibles is located on Level 2 near Macy’s.

Northlake Mall at 6801 Northlake Mall Drive went into receivership a year ago after failing to pay its debts. The two-story, 1.1 million square foot mall is managed by Spinoso Real Estate Group.

South Park Shopping Center

The SouthPark shopping center is the subject of a multi-million dollar ‘transformational’ plaza project which will include the addition of Charlotte Suffolk Punch Brewing to a new inclusive children’s play area. Here are the other new features:

Blue Nile jewelry repair, cleaning and other services.

Build-a-Bear Workshop, is open between Guest Services and West Square.

CycleBar, indoor cycling lessons, at the Village at SouthPark at the mall. Opening Nov. 29, according to the mall’s website.

Hive & Colony, a men’s clothing store that uses 3D body scanning to create custom suits, shirts, and shirts. Close to Center Court next to Swarovski.

Inglot, a cosmetics store. Near the fountain court.

The IQOS Tobacco Heater, near Dillard, reopens on Black Friday, according to the mall’s website.

Levi’s, the jeans brand. Next to Kendra Scott near Fountain Court.

Tag Heuer, a luxury Swiss watchmaker. In Fountain Court near Francesca’s.

UNOde50, an artisan jewelry brand offering authentic pieces with Spanish roots. Close to Fountain Court next to Tumi.

SouthPark at 4400 Sharon Road has 175 stores and restaurants.

Want to be added to the list? Email [email protected].

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Catherine Muccigrosso is a retail journalist for The Charlotte Observer. An award-winning journalist, she has worked for several newspapers and McClatchy for over a decade.