Tuesday, October 22, 2013

American Girl store coming to SouthPark

American Girl fans, get excited: The company said Tuesday it plans to open a 12,000-square-foot store in SouthPark mall next year that will include a small restaurant and a doll hair salon.

The store will be the doll company's only North Carolina retail outlet. The American Girl store will open in fall 2014, in the Macy's wing of SouthPark.

"As a leader in experiential retail, American Girl has found a great partner in SouthPark Mall, a well-established premium retailer with an upscale mix of stores and restaurants," said said Wade Opland, American Girl’s vice president of retail, in a statement. "It's an ideal location to introduce American Girl to the area and we look forward to opening our doors next fall."

The SouthPark store will carry the full line of American Girl dolls and many of the associated books, clothes for girls, doll outfits and accessories. In addition, it will also have a selection of other services:

"American Girl fans will be able to enjoy a meal and a delicious dessert or celebrate a birthday in the store’s fun and casual 25-seat Bistro, treat their dolls to a new hairdo in the Doll Hair Salon, or design a cute doll-sized T-shirt in the “Creativi-Tees” boutique."

There are currently 16 American Girl retail stores, with its first and flagship retail store opened in Chicago in 1998. The closest to Charlotte are in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. American Girl is a division of toy maker Mattel, Inc.

Simon Property Group owns SouthPark mall, the region's largest shopping center at 1.6 million square feet. The mall is more than 94 percent occupied, according to Simon's most recent annual report.

"We're delighted to welcome American Girl to SouthPark," said Randy Thomas, general manager
at SouthPark, in a statement. "We strive to continuously evolve as a shopping destination and American Girl further enhances our property’s list of retailers."

Check out the trailer for the American Girl movie about doll/girl Kit Kittredge. She wants to be - what else? - a reporter.