That's right. The latest rumor is that Forever XXI is getting ready to start construction on a store in Duluth. For those have you who are not familiar with Forever 21, they are an American chain clothing retailer. Originally their clothes were designed for middle aged woman, but lately they have started to appeal to a younger crowd (usually 18-27). Recently this past year the brand also starting to introduce men's clothing and have begun selling men's clothing at a few of it's locations, with a planned nation wide roll out within a year or two. Their stores tend to be similar to Charlotte Russe's style and design where it is filled to the brim with clothing, except Forever XXI's stores can range anywhere from the usual 12,500 square feet all the way to 85,000 square feet (they currently have a store in California that is under construction at 150,000 sqf) Whether this rumor is true or not, eh we don't really know at the moment. What do I think as far as my personal opinion, I think it could be very true for a few reasons.
The first reason I think there maybe more truth to this rumor than fiction is due to the fact that the rumor is coming from mall workers, and let's face it, they hear everything. It started a few weeks ago from one mall worker and now I have started hearing it from multiple sources. They second reason is that Forever XXI is opening a store in the Apache Mall, and lately the Apache Mall and Miller Hill Mall have been very similar in the tenants they are locating within the malls. While the Apache Mall does have a few higher end tenants, it also features a large list of the same stores as the Miller Hill Mall. The Apache Mall also has a similar distance situation as the Miller Hill Mall. Retailers take a gamble to open in Rochester, just like they do in Duluth, because of the smaller constricted populations. Therefore we tend to see similar developments (with some exceptions). So therefore it would not surprise me if Forever XXI was to also open a store in Duluth due to their aggressive expansion plan right now and they gambles they are willing to take. And the last reason I have is that there is a perfect space waiting for Forever XXI at the Miller Hill Mall. The former half of Old Navy is exactly the type of space Forever XXI desires and it's a large space too. It wouldn't surprise me if mall officials have been working on trying to secure a single large tenant for the space. Forever XXI maybe the answer.
So when will we know? The mall usually releases some type of press release in late April or early May about all the happenings in the mall for the coming year. I am assuming this would be part of that press release if it turns out not to be a rumor but the truth. But then again, Duluth always has a lot of rumors flying around about potential store openings.
Oh, and by the way, construction on Noodles and Company is set to begin next month. Mall officials hope to have two additional tenants in the former Great American space in addition to Noodles and Company.