Shoppers flocked Friday to the grand opening of Gilbert's first Macy's department store at SanTan Village mall. Store officials estimated the crowd waiting for the doors to open at about 150 people.
"I was surprised with the turnout," said store manager Mary Markichevich. "We have been very, very busy."
Jennifer Munn, marketing director at SanTan Village, said people started lining up outside the store around 7 a.m.
"They had a line out their door," she said.
Although the 150-year-old retailer planned the official grand opening for Friday, the store opened unannounced on Monday to the surprise of many shoppers at the mall.
The Gilbert store is the first of its kind in the nation, officials said. It's only one level and encompasses 122,000 square feet. That's smaller than a typical store and partly intended to make the shopping experience easier. It's also designed with four entries and extra-large dressing rooms with waiting areas that look similar to a swanky Scottsdale lounge with flat-screen televisions and elaborate interior design and lighting.
Gilbert Town Manager George Pettit estimated the town's annual take in sales taxes from the mall and nearby power center to be around $250,000.
"In general, it's about 10 to 15 percent less than what we had originally forecast.
Pettit blames the sour economy for the lower-than-expected take.