Tightwads across the Northwest rejoice! The region’s newest and largest mall opens Friday, catering specifically to the “value-oriented” cheapskate in all of us.
SuperMall of the Great Northwest, just east of I-5 in Auburn, Wash., eschews conventional mall wisdom by not relying on traditional anchors such as The Bon, J.C. Penney or Sears.
Instead it’s chock-full of category-killer discounters such as Incredible Universe (selling home electronics and appliances), Oshman’s SuperSports USA, Burlington Coat Factory and Marshall’s.
The 1.2 million-square-foot penny pincher’s paradise will also feature the largest-ever Nordstrom Rack, plus similar off-price stores from Saks Fifth Avenue and Ann Taylor. More than 160 other stores, along with a food court, carousel and kitschy replica of Mount Rainier will grace the mall.
“It’s a different kind of shopping experience,” chirped Sheila Lynch, spokeswoman for SuperMall. “We expect tour buses of happy shoppers from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Vancouver, Washington, and everything in between.”
SuperMall officials expect about 15 million shoppers per year, with the average consumer leaving $200 poorer. Although the bulk of customers will be from the Puget Sound area, an estimated 30 percent will travel at least 100 miles.
The facility will also be tour-friendly, as SuperMall officials predict 2,000 to 4,000 tour buses per year. A bus driver’s lounge with VCR and movies as well as a complimentary lunch and nonalcoholic beverages - await weary tour leaders.
SuperMall, the sixth outlet megamall in the nation, is setting itself up as a major competitor of the region’s smaller outlet malls.
Familiar names such as Radio Shack, Bass Shoes, Dress Barn, Footlocker, Levi’s, Maidenform and Corningware will be represented in the mall. But unlike the rather generic strip outlets, SuperMall will also have hair salons, banks, information kiosks and children’s play areas.
“We’re going to all of the expense and effort because we want shopping at SuperMall to be an enjoyable experience,” said Lynn Beck, SuperMall’s director of marketing.
Along with shopaholics across the state, residents and politicians in South King County are hailing SuperMall as the greatest retail achievement since the credit card. SuperMall executives predict that more than 4,000 jobs will be created by next month.
“We’re already seeing a lot of demand for workers, and we’re working hard to match employers to available employees,” said Donna Drewry, a staff member at the Auburn Job Center.
, DataTimes MEMO: For more information, call SuperMall of the Great Northwest at 1-800-SAY-VALU. SuperMall is midway between Seattle and Tacoma at the interchange of U.S. highways 167 and 18.