New Oklahoma City Von Maur Store Announced on Heels of Retail Growth Trend in OKC

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Explosive growth fueled by low unemployment, vacancy at pre-recession levels

The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City

This has been an incredibly strong year for retail in Oklahoma City. Many retail tenants new to the market are now expressing a strong interest with regards to their expansion opportunities.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, Von Maur Department Store announced it signed a contract to open its first Oklahoma City location in a 150,000-square-foot store at Quail Springs Mall in north Oklahoma City in Fall 2014. The announcement of this store, which will eventually employ 150 to 175 Oklahomans, supports the ongoing growth in the Memorial Corridor and Quail Springs Mall area. The area has added a variety of both established and new-to-market restaurants and retailers over the past few years, such as GolfSmith, Genghis Grill and Smashburger; but perhaps more importantly, the arrival of Von Maur is further indication of a trend of explosive growth citywide in Oklahoma City’s retail market.

“This has been an incredibly strong year for retail in Oklahoma City,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “Many retail tenants new to the market are now expressing a strong interest with regards to their expansion opportunities. They see that our residents and visitors alike have proven that not only do they have disposable income, but they are ready to spend it.”

Oklahoma City has seen the expansion of existing tenants, new concepts and several new-to-market retailers in the last year. In November 2012, the Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, which opened fully leased in 2011, opened its first addition. The 27,800-square-foot section on the mall’s south end opened after only 15 months of operation. Columbia Sports, Ann Taylor Loft, Kenneth Cole and more just joined the growing list of retailers at the property, and BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will open a new Oklahoma City location there this summer. Horizon Group Properties, which manages the Outlet Shoppes, has already announced and begun to market a second expansion that could potentially be finished this year and will bring additional tenants to the mall.

Also in 2012, the biggest entry to the market was made by Dick’s Sporting Goods when they opened four stores simultaneously – two in Oklahoma City, and one each in Moore and Midwest City. Extensive growth is also happening along I-240, with additions such as U.S. Foods Chef’s Store, only the second such location in the nation, opening in the past month.

“We remain very positive in our outlook for the Oklahoma City retail market this year due to our growing population, as well as a healthy and growing job market which will continue to positively impact our steady growth in income,” said Jessica Herrera, manager of retail development and recruitment at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “We also hope to see additional existing retailers grow and will welcome many other new-to-market retail tenants as they begin to call Oklahoma City home soon.”

As job growth continues to boost the local economy, sales tax collections in the city continue to increase. In December 2012, the sales tax report for Oklahoma City showed a 9.9 percent increase in collections over the same period in the previous year. December marked the 15th straight month of sales tax growth for the city. Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate – the No. 1 lowest in the nation for 20 of the past 24 months – is also supporting and driving the growth. With vacancy at near pre-recession levels, the Oklahoma City market is expected to continue to grow.

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Jill Harrison
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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