CEDAR FALLS — Journeys, a teen specialty chain retail store, has opened its first Iowa location outside of a traditional shopping mall.
On April 30, it became the newest tenant of the East Viking Plaza. It took over a 1,229 square-foot space once home to an Oshkosh B’gosh, a children’s apparel store.
Previously, eight Journeys stores and one Journeys Kidz store have opened inside traditional Iowa malls, said a news release. One is at the Crossroads Mall in Waterloo.
The retailer, which has more than 860 stores, says it has “an emphasis on trendy and affordable branded footwear, apparel, and accessories.” It offers brands like Converse, Vans, Crocs, Hey Dude, Birkenstock, Adidas and UGG.
The new store, between Plato’s Closet and Buckle, is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“Journeys has remained successful for 36 years by continuing to evolve how we serve our customer to best fit their needs and busy lifestyles,” said Mario Gallione, president of Journeys, in the news release. “Expanding into off-mall locations takes Journeys stores closer to where our customers live, work and go to school, making it as easy as possible to access our locations.”
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Mimi Vaughn, president and chief executive officer of Genesco, the parent company of Journeys, noted in a recent conference call with investors that Journeys’ research indicates that “a third of its target consumers visit local non-mall shopping centers two to three times per month and enjoy the convenience of shopping closer to home combined with enhanced omnichannel services like easier curbside pickup.”
“We’ve piloted a number of these off-mall sites which are larger than our mall stores and can carry a full assortment of adult and kids product,” Vaughn said.
Due to positive results, Vaugh said the company signed agreements for more than 25 of these locations that will open this year and early next.
Target and Scheel’s are the anchor stores in the East Viking Plaza. Other stores have recently opened there, including Buff City Soap and Plato’s Closet.
But now the shopping plaza is fully leased, said Kyle Nageleisen, director of leasing at Midland Atlantic Properties, which owns it.
Chris Meyers owns a cluster of Sun Tan City stores in Des Moines, but now is expanding his portfolio and opening up Buff City Soap franchise stores across Iowa.
One goal “is to be the one-stop for carefully curated selections from brands like Converse, Vans, Crocs, Birkenstock, Adidas, UGG, and more,” Gallione said in response to emailed questions.
“The Journeys shopping experience goes beyond the average retail environment, it’s an extension of the teen lifestyle,” he added. “Every store is designed to welcome, inspire, and include each shopper. Self-expression isn’t just accepted, it’s encouraged through shelves of unique merchandise, exclusive digital content, and a friendly staff that reflects the company’s values.”
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