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Herberger's department store

Ann Heisenfelt, Star Tribune

Next step in Southdale makeover: Herberger's set to open Nov. 9

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE
  • Star Tribune
  • October 17, 2011 - 7:09 PM

Herberger's will debut at Southdale Center in Edina on Nov. 9.

The 135,000-square-foot, trilevel department store will feature large shoe and jewelry departments along with special areas dedicated to handbags made by Coach, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. The location will also be equipped with self-serve kiosks that will allow customers to browse or shop on herbergers.com.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. owns Herberger's and already operates five stores in the Twin Cities market.

"This has been an exciting project, and we look forward to offering our customers a premier shopping experience with exceptional brands and designers from which to choose," Bon-Ton Stores CEO Bud Bergren said in a statement.

A company spokeswoman did not return an e-mail seeking further comment.

Landing Herberger's is a major coup for Simon Property Group Inc., which owns Southdale. The nation's first indoor mall has been struggling to attract tenants.

Southdale's vacancy rate, without the new Herberger's, has been nearly 13 percent, compared with 4.5 percent for all regional malls in the Twin Cities, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Last year, it lost B. Dalton Bookseller and Maggiano's Little Italy.

In addition to recruiting Herberger's, Simon recently announced it would renovate the mall in 2012. Those plans include a redesigned food court, a children's play area, and redone entrances and hallways.

Despite its struggles, Southdale still operates in one of the better markets in the Twin Cities region, said Dick Grones, founding principal of Cambridge Commercial Realty in Edina. Herberger's is a "good match" for the mall, he said.

"They have a lot of good brands to offer," Grones said. "Step by step, [Simon Property] is putting Southdale back together."

Herberger's will compete directly with Macy's, the mall's longtime anchor.

Though Herberger's does not offer the same quality of services as Macy's, Herberger's enjoys greater proximity to Southdale's restaurants and movie theater, which might give the store a slight edge over its rival, Grones said.

Thomas Lee • 612-673-4113

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