The new Phoenix Premium Outlets, located in Chandler adjacent to the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, opened its doors Thursday with 90 stores ready to offer discounts of 25 to 65 percent off retail prices.
The opening marks the start of a four-day grand opening event for the facility, which offers more than 360,000 square feet of shopping and features such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue off 5th, Adidas, Brooks Brothers, Izod, Polo Ralph Lauren and Nike Factory Store.
While the center is fully leased, some stores may not open during the grand opening weekend. According to Maura Eggan, vice president of the western region for Premium Outlets, there’s constant evolving in an outlet mall, but their goal is to offer shoppers a variety of shops and price points and make the west Chandler site a destination for shoppers.
“The retailers want to be in a Premium Outlet center because they’re doing well there,” Eggan said. “They have other locations. They know the drill. Studies prove when people come to Premium Outlets they stay for hours. They expect to buy. They come here to shop.”
The new center, just off Interstate 10 at Wild Horse Pass Boulevard, has been in the works since January of 2012 when Gila River Indian Community Gov. Greg Mendoza officially singed the lease with Simon Property Group. The group broke ground in March of 2012.
The new outlets are expected to provide 800 permanent jobs to the area and generate more than $150 million annually in retail sales. That translates to approximately $13 million in tax revenue.
Eggan said the partnership with the Gila River Indian Community is ideal. The outlets are located near two hotels, a golf course, a casino, and some five star restaurants. The only thing missing from the area was a major shopping component.
Similar Premium Outlets locations exist in San Diego, Las Vegas an en route to Los Angeles, in the California desert. Now, East Valley shoppers only have to drive a few minutes to get their fix.
“We’ve always wanted to be in the Phoenix-Scottsdale market because it’s a good market,” Eggan said. “It also is a market that attracts visitors. Premium Outlets are the success that they are because we have centers in many ports of entry, in or near cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and interiors cities as well like Phoenix, where international visitors come. They are the ones who spend the money. They’re the ones who are buying half a dozen coach bags at one time. We certainly work closely with the chambers of commerce wherever we go, but we also work with the visitors and convention bureau.”
Simon Property Group also owns Arizona Mills just off the U.S. 60 and Priest Drive.
Eggan said Simon develops three platforms: malls, which are known for high-end brands; Premium Outlets, which house high-end stores and designer labels offering great discounts; and Mills, which have stores with varied values and typically have an entertainment component. However, Simon expects the outlets to be unique enough to not compete with Arizona Mills.
“They’re different in personalities,” Eggan said. “They’re all shopping centers and stores, but we like to say we offer the full range of experiences for our buyers.”
There will be a ribbon cutting to open the center at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 4, and grand opening weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Sunday, April 7.
Many stores will also host in-store promotions throughout the weekend, and while the outlets are not normally known for entertainment, there will also be live music on site through Sunday.
Shoppers can enter to win one of 230 prizes during the grand opening, including the grand prize of a $5,000 shopping spree to the outlets. Shoppers can view a complete list of stores and promotions at www.premiumoutlets.com. There shoppers can also sign up for a VIP club for additional promotions and coupons.
Regular hours, beginning Monday, April 8, are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Directions from the East Valley:
Take the Santan Loop 202 west, US 60 west, or Red Mountain Loop 202 west to Interstate 10 east. Exit Wild Horse Pass Boulevard (exit 162). Turn right on Wild Horse Pass Boulevard. Turn right on 48th Street. Turn right on Premium Outlets Way.
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