Paragon Outlets announced 19 new tenants Wednesday for its outlet mall under construction in Eagan.
Eight of them will be the retailers’ only outlet stores in Minnesota: American Eagle, Asics, Calphalon, Cole Haan, Crabtree & Evelyn, Helzberg Diamonds Outlet, Watch Station and White House/Black Market.
“This is an impressive mix,” said Dave Brennan, marketing professor and co-director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence at the University of St. Thomas. “I’m struck by the number of stores that aren’t duplicated anywhere else in Minnesota. That will add an extra motivation for shoppers to visit.”
The other stores just announced are Adidas, Chico’s Outlet, Children’s Place, Converse, Destination Maternity (includes Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod merchandise), Famous Footwear, Fossil, Jockey, Samsonite, Skechers and PacSun.
They will join other outlet stores previously announced that will be exclusive in the state, including Janie & Jack and Crazy 8 (owned by Gymboree), J. Crew and Johnston & Murphy, as well as non-exclusives such as Saks Off Fifth, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Swarovski, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen and Wilson’s Leather.
Retail brand experts Mary Van Note and Beth Perro-Jarvis of Ginger in Minneapolis think that several stores, especially J. Crew, make it destination shopping, but they saw some holes in the mix, including electronics and women’s upscale fitness wear.
Stores such as Bose would attract more male shoppers although the Brooks Brothers and Johnston & Murphy help, they said. Retailers such as Adidas, Converse, Nike and Puma will partly fill the need for athetic wear, but so far the center seems to lack upscale fitness wear that is popular at retailers such as as Lucy, Lululemon, Athleta and Title Nine.
The center will include more than 100 shops but luxury retailers, other than Saks Off Fifth, aren’t part of the mix so far.
“We don’t get the true premium outlets like they get on the East Coast or Palm Springs,” said Perro-Jarvis. “We’re still B-level here. There’s no Prada or Gucci.”
All of the newly announced stores are outlet stores, not regular-price stores that sometimes join outlet malls, according to Paragon.
Construction on the outlet center near Cedar Avenue S. and Hwy. 13 has begun, and it is expected to open in August 2014.