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The Galleria plans expansion, seeks young shoppers

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The Galleria, a luxury shopping center in Edina, has announced that a future expansion is in the works, one that could feature modern tweaks meant to draw in a younger crowd.

While Retail Leasing Manager Jennifer Smith didn’t divulge the size of the addition or name specific shops that will fill the new space, she told the Star Tribune that she expects to sign a deal for the expansion in the next 30 days.

Smith reportedly said the new development would extend out toward the parking area between Gabberts and Barnes and Noble.

The Galleria is thriving, with 95 to 98 percent of its space consistently leased, according to the Star Tribune.

The Galleria’s Vice President of Retail Luis Serrat, who formally ran Minneapolis’ Neiman Marcus store for six years until its January closuretold Twin Cities Business in April that there were talks of upgrades at the Galleria. He forecast possible openings in the tailored menswear, gifts, and accessories departments—as well as near the center’s entrances.

Houston-based international property management firm Hines Global acquired the Galleria for $127 million in August 2012. In April, Hines spokesman George Lancaster said that the company wasn’t interested in big names and market exclusivity for the shopping center. “Galleria is a super-strong brand,” he said. “We just want to tweak and modernize it.”

While Serrat agreed with Lancaster, he qualified, “People here want luxury, they want heritage, but they don’t want to be held hostage to anything too splashy.”

Retail expert Dick Grones said that with Hines as the Galleria’s new owners, shoppers should anticipate concept changes and possibly a nightclub, the Star Tribune reported. “They always believed, if it wasn’t broke why fix it? Hines is more receptive to attracting younger shoppers,” he said.

Twin Cities Business“We’ve always attracted a 40-plus customer, but we’d like to expand that to customers in their mid-20s and up,” Serrat reportedly said.

The new expansion is estimated to be complete by 2016, granted everything goes as planned, Smith told the Star Tribune.

Prior to the expansion, the Galleria reportedly also plans to open a new Kate Spade store in November, a new North Face store in October, and it just unveiled a full-service cosmetics retailer called Bluemercury.

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.

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