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NAPLES, FL-In its first foray into Southwest Florida, Nordstrom plans a two-story 80,000-sf unit at Waterside Shops at Pelican Bay here, tentatively scheduled to open in fall 2007 or spring 2008. The format is about half the size of a unit that will open in Aventura on Florida’s east coast in fall 2007.

“This new and smaller store will give us an opportunity to have a more focused approach, providing a merchandise mix unique to our customers in Naples,” said Erik Nordstrom, EVP of full-line stores for the Seattle-based retailer. “We have wanted to serve customers in and around Southwest Florida for a long time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Saks plans to add 20,000 sf to its existing 47,000-sf unit in the mall. The expansion “is consistent with our strategy of focusing our resources on our more productive units,” says Fred Wilson, Saks’ chairman and CEO. “Naples is a great market for us, and we are eager to increase our presence there.” It plans to augment its designer apparel selection.

The 260,000-sf Waterside Shops is currently undergoing a renovation and expanding its complement of luxury retailers to include Hermes, Burberry, Gucci and Christofle. Also new at the center and to Naples are Coach, BCBG, Tumi , Anthropologie and Brooks Brothers.

The renovation, scheduled for completion this November, includes a valet parking area and a 550-foot curved stone wall of water elements. A new diagonal promenade will encompass several boutiques, and the entire mall will take on “a contemporary look with translucent etched glass, dynamic water features, strategic lighting and lush landscaping,” according to Nathan Forbes, managing partner of The Forbes Co.

Southfield, MI-based Forbes is the managing member of the mall’s ownership, which also includes Taubman Centers Inc. and ING Clarion. Waterside Shops opened in 1992 and encompasses approximately 45 stores and restaurants.

This will be Nordstrom’s ninth full-line store in Florida. In addition to the Aventura store, it is opening at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens in March 2006. It has opened six stores in malls throughout Florida in the past five years. The locations include Town Center at Boca Raton, International Plaza in Tampa, Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Florida Mall in Orlando, Mall at Wellington Green in Wellington, and Dadeland Mall in Miami.

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