Von Maur Department Stores says it is delaying theopening of its first store in the Twin Cities by fourmonths so it can open when the rest of the remodeledEden Prairie Center opens.

“We were planning on a spring opening,” Von Maurpresident Ric Von Maur told GlobeSt.com. ”But themall is doing a total renovation in which they’removing people out and everything else. So we decidedto open with the rest of the mall in early August[2001].”

Eden Prairie Center is adding a 14-screen AMC theater,a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and several restaurants aspart of a major remodeling of the store, says ShelleyKlaessy, a spokeswoman with General Growth Properties,which owns and manages the 900,000-sf mall.When Von Maur opens the 150,000-sf store in EdenPrairie Center a year from now, the small, privately ownedretailer will be the first full-line department storechain to enter the Twin Cities since the Mall ofAmerica opened in the early 1990s.

Von Maur does not rely on heavy marketing or prime locations for its success. In fact, they don’t oftenlocate in the premium malls, preferring to stay in theless expensive second-tier malls. For instance, inBloomington, IL, Von Maur is the only department storein College Hills Mall. Even though a nearby mall isstronger and more established, Von Maur does anexcellent business, Von Maur says.

Von Maur officials say it’s a formula that works notonly in smaller markets like Lincoln, NE, Iowa City,IA, Cedar Rapids, IA, and Decatur, IL, also but incompetitive big metro markets like Chicago andIndianapolis. Von Maur, which had an estimated$270 million in sales last year, has 15 stores inIowa, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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