Gordmans, a low-price retailer, is set to open a department store in Farmington's Station Park shopping center March 23 as part of a move into the Intermountain West.
The store, plus a second Gordmans set to open on the same day in The District shopping center in South Jordan and a third unit that will debut in Riverdale in July, mark the Omaha-based company's arrival in Utah as it works to expand beyond the Midwest and Plains states.
"The Salt Lake MSA (metropolitan statistical area between Ogden and Provo) we see as a significant opportunity for us," CEO Jeff Gordman said.
"What's really appealing with respect to the market overall is, first, that the population is one of the most educated in the country and that really fits within our demographic profile. Second, the average age of the greater Salt Lake MSA is eight years younger than the national average, which is consistent with our target [customer]. We're really targeting families with children."
Gordmans sells clothing, home furnishings and other merchandise at prices as much as 60 percent off department and specialty store prices. In its latest annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that although "we technically compete with the off-price segment of the industry, we are actually a unique hybrid of specialty, department store, big box and off-price retailers."
Gordmans sells "fashion-oriented" apparel, footwear, accessories and home fashions in a shopping environment "that is designed to be infused with fun, entertainment and characterized by outstanding guest service," the company said in the filing.
Gordmans operates 74 stores in 16 states. Stores typically average about 50,000-square-feet in size. The company says its stores compete with traditional departments stores such as Macy's and Dillard's, mid-market retailers Kohl's and J.C. Penney, discounters Target and Walmart, and specialty shops such as Old Navy.
"Our primary target shopper is a 25 to 49-year-old mother with children living at home, with a household income ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. However, given our strength in juniors' apparel, females between the ages of 12 and 24 are also an important target market," Gordmans said in the SEC filing.
The number of people living within 10 miles of Station Park was 221,871 in 2010, according to CenterCal Properties, the Los Angeles-based developer that is constructing the 67-acre shopping center on Farmington's west side. That's up almost 23 percent from the 2000 Census. Household numbers were up by a similar percentage, and the average household income jumped 32 percent, to $89,222, according to CenterCal figures.
"The household sizes [surrounding Station Park and The District] are 20 percent larger than the national average, as well," said CEO Gordman, who added that his company is exploring locations for two more stores that could open in 2013. He declined to be more specific.
Once stalled by the recession, Station Park has been moving rapidly to fill out its open-air property at the intersection of Interstate 15, the Legacy Parkway and a FrontRunner rail station. A 70,000-square-foot Harmons grocery store opened in May. Two months later, a 42,000-square-foot Ross apparel store and a 14-screen Cinemark movie theater opened their doors.
When it is completed in 2013, Station Park is expected to have more than 1 million square feet of occupied tenant space. Already, 400,000 square feet are filled by about "a dozen" tenants, said Craig Trottier, vice president of development for CenterCal.
Set to open in 2012 are numerous restaurant and stores, including CafÃ© Zupas, Famous Footwear, Dollar Cuts, Diamond Wireless, burger restaurant Johnny Rockets, Monarch Dental, Panda Express, Parkstone Wood Kitchen and Bar, Settebello Pizzeria, Subway and Sushi Monster. Those tenants are leasing 300,000 square feet
Station Park also is expected have office space and a hotel, as well as a spa, gym and public areas, including a playground, park, a water fountain and an ice rink before the end of 2013.
Leasing activity "has exceeded our expectations in light of the economic conditions," Trottier said.
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