By Tim Feran, The Columbus Dispatch
September 20, 2013
Easton Gateway, which will be home to destination stores Costco and Whole Foods, will gain another high-profile name when Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th opens a store there as well.
The outlet concept, slated to open next year, will offer women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, jewelry, beauty products, shoes, handbags and sunglasses.
It will be the third Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th location in Ohio; the others are at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets in northeastern Ohio and Cincinnati Premium Outlets.
Easton officials have been in discussion with Saks and others for “a number of years” to bring “ best in class” retailers to the shopping area, said Adam Flatto, president of the Georgetown Co. Georgetown, along with Steiner & Associates and Limited Brands, is a developer and operator of Easton, including Easton Town Center.
“Gateway has always been intended as a complement to merchants in Easton Town Center,” Flatto said. “Like Costco, Whole Foods and (outdoor retailer) REI, now Saks fits that bill perfectly. The issue has been simply not having the right venue. We didn’t have space.”
A full-line Saks Fifth Avenue has been at Polaris Fashion Place since the 2001 opening of that mall. Flatto said there has been no discussion about bringing that store to Easton.
Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th “fits in perfectly with the rest of the tenant mix developing” in the Easton area, said Chris Boring. “Fashion is driven by selection. The more good retailers you have in one location, the better you’re going to do. For fashion, the more the better. You want critical mass.”
The Columbus location is one of seven outlet stores the chain plans to open next year. Each will have between 25,000 and 28,000 square feet and will feature a “bright and uncluttered” design, company officials said. The layout, launched in 2008, has shelves and fixtures on casters, meaning that the general floor plan of the store can be changed overnight.
Off 5th was conceived as a clearance center for Saks Fifth Avenue merchandise. In 1990, Saks launched its first outlet store, and in 1995 it renamed the concept Off 5th. Today, Off 5th offers merchandise specially ordered from designer brands in addition to clearance items.
Saks operates 41 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 69 Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores and its e-commerce site, Saks.com.