Friday, October 13, 2000

Mall adds bargain retailer

Stein Mart clearance center joins value center

By Lisa Biank Fasig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fashion chain Stein Mart has agreed to temporarily open a clearance store in Forest Fair Mall, adding another large tenant to the center that is transforming into a value center with one-of-a-kind merchants.

        The outlet is scheduled to open Oct. 22, in time for Phase I of Forest Fair's redevelopment, when outdoorsman store Bass Pro Shop debuts, along with Media Play and Burlington Coat Factory. In the spring, Saks Off Fifth will open a store.

        Stein Mart will keep the store open into the first quarter of 2001, and has an option to make the lease permanent, Forest Fair said.

        “Their clearance center here at the mall will be mostly clothing with a focus on ladies,” said Lori Busse, marketing director for Forest Fair. “I would have to assume from the shopper's point of view that this will be the ultimate bargain.”

        The store will open in the Bass Pro Shops wing (formerly Parisian), on the upper level. Forest Fair will reconfigure some barricades that are keeping pedestrians from entering that wing during the construction to allow access to the store.

        Bass Pro will open Nov. 2. Burlington Coat Factory is scheduled to open Oct. 27 and Media Play, Nov. 17.

        In other developments, Metropolis night time entertainment complex, which will replace the Bourbon Street bar, is being relocated alongside Kohl's and should open by November or December. Burbank's Real Bar-B-Q, being relocated next to Bass on the upper level, also is expected to open by December.

        Mike Ray, regional vice president of Stein Mart, said the outlet store will be the first in Ohio; the nearest is in Little Rock, Ark.

        Though Stein Mart offers value over traditional department stores, it is not an off-price chain like T.J. Maxx. The store buys its product directly from manufacturers, but negotiates better prices.

        “It's just simply taking items that at the end of the season have not cleared out from our regular stores,” Mr. Ray said.


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