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Charlotte Premium Outlets celebrates grand opening
Charlotte's new shopping destination offers more than retail
 
Published Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:30 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

PHOTO/DANIEL COSTON
Governor Pat McCrory, Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield and Simon Premium Outlets COO Mark Silvestri at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Charlotte Premium Outlets. Thursday’s grand opening celebration kicked off a four-day weekend of sales and special events. 

Charlotte Premium Outlets, an upscale shopping center, opened today in the Steele Creek area, kicking off a weekend-long grand opening celebration.

It’s the first mall that has been built in Charlotte since 2005, and many shoppers – particularly those in South Charlotte – couldn’t be happier.

Devin Gray was so excited about the new mall that she took the day off from work.

“Today is my birthday,” she said. “When I found out they were opening up on my birthday, I had to take the day off to be here.”

Governor Patrick McCrory was also thrilled about the new shopping center. He participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning along with several local dignitaries and representatives from mall’s developers, Simon Premium Outlets and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers.

McCrory said the new outlet center is not only a great destination for shopping but is also a boon for the local economy.

“This is creating an opportunity for great shopping and a great retail experience, but more than anything, it’s creating jobs,” he said. “It’s about jobs.”

In May, over 3,100 job seekers attended the mall’s career fair. To date, the mall has filled 900 permanent positions and hired over 400 construction workers.

The outlet center, which cost $90 million to develop, is expected to gross at least $140 million in retail sales during its first year.

“That represents over $10 million a year in sales tax revenue direct to the community,” said Mark Silvestri, COO of Simon Premium Outlets. “In today’s economy, this is not insignificant.”

Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, who represents District 3 where the mall was built, said the location is ideal because it is well traveled and easily accessible.

“I am truly excited to celebrate this grand opening,” she said. “This area of Charlotte, which is so close in proximity to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, from January until May of this calendar year has seen over 18 million travelers… You are not only able to access it easily from the airport, but if you are visiting from out of town you will be able to take the light rail and the bus right to the outlet.”

Shoppers we spoke with said they also like the location, but for different reasons.  

“I only live about 8 minutes away,” said Willa Mae Brown of Charlotte. “Now I don’t have to drive all the way to Concord Mills anymore nor do I have to go to Gaffney. It’s local now.”

Shoppers can expect a beehive of activity this weekend during the four-day grand opening celebration including live music, entertainment, prize giveaways and sales galore.

Shoppers can join the VIP Shopper Club online at www.premiumoutlets.com/vip. In addition to receiving exclusive deals and coupons, members also gain access to the VIP Shopper Club Lounge, where they can receive five-minute facials and chair massages. The lounge also includes a photo station and Pony Tail Bar, where members can try different hairstyles and have their fashion fortunes told by the Lipstick Reader.

TV personality and New York Times bestselling author Bethenny Frankel will mix and mingle with shoppers in the VIP Lounge Saturday afternoon. At 12:45 p.m., Frankel will share her top fashion picks for summer before signing autographs and hosting a second workshop at 2:45 p.m. titled “Accessorizing on the Go: Take your Look from Day to Night.”

North Carolina shoppers may not get the thrill of tax free shopping this year, but most of the outlet center’s 100 stores are still giving them a reason to shop until they drop.

This weekend, stores such as Asics Outlet, BeBe, The Body Shop, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Eddie Bauer Outlet and Fossil are offering a percentage off all merchandise, while others including Aeropostle, Ann Taylor Factory and Banana Republic are deducting a set dollar amount off at specified price points.

For a complete listing of events and deals, visit www.premiumoutlets.com.

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