Neither of the two retail stores are new to this market, nor will they be outlet stores. Bath & Body Works has 14 other full-priced stores in the Twin Cities. Opening in late April, the Body Works store will be about 2,800 square feet with full-priced goods. The Bath & Body Works stores in outlet malls Medford or North Branch sell retired and seasonal merchandise at 50 to 75% off. Bath & Body Works in Eagan takes the places of a Jos. A. Bank store. Last year the men's chain closed nearly all of its outlet stores around the country, although regular-priced stores remain including five Twin Cities locations.
GNC will also sell regular-priced merchandise, similar to the more than 50 stores in the Twin Cities area, although some items will be discounted 5 to 10% every day. It is expected to open in in mid-April, replacing Perfumania. The perfume store chain filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. Only one location remains in Minnesota in Mall of America.
When the Eagan outlet mall opened in 2014, all of its nearly 100 retail stores were clearance or outlet stores, according to a spokesperson from Simon Property Group, the mall's owner. But as more retailers declare bankruptcy, even outlet malls are being forced to rent to a wider spectrum of tenants.
Gyro Street is expected to open in the next two weeks. It replaces Subway. More than 900 Subway restaurants closed last year as franchisees felt squeezed by the $5 footlong promotions. On Thursday Subway announced it is changing its rewards program. Customers who spend $50 or more will get $2 off, instead of a free sandwich.
Twin Cities Premium Outlets has remained near full occupancy since inception.
No new stores are being announced in the Twin Cities' other main outlet center, Premium Outlets in Albertville. Its main promenade has performed well since it opened in 2000, but the annex that opened in 2004 has struggled in the past several years. Most of the back wall row of tenants have left or relocated to the main center across County Road 19. The most recent closures are Fossil, Samsonite, Nine West and Flying Circus Toys, which closed Sunday.