SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

September 12, 2012

What's new at the malls? Lots of new stores

Whether it’s an indicator of an improving economy or just a coincidence, a bunch of new stores are opening at the Northshore and Liberty Tree malls this fall.

Five new stores are opening at the Northshore Mall in Peabody, and a sixth store, Brooks Brothers, is relocating and expanding in a new location at the mall. Among the most anticipated is the shiny new The Container Store, a free-standing shop that is taking over the site of the former Bugaboo Creek.

The Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers is boasting three new permanent shops, including a self-service kiosk that can evaluate and buy back used consumer electronics for cash. It will also have two seasonal businesses.

Are the new stores a sign of an improving economy? The National Association of Realtors said in August that commercial real estate was recovering slowly amid a slow jobs recovery and tight credit market. But things may be looking up, as the association said the retail vacancy rate is expected to drop from 10.9 percent this quarter to 10.7 percent in the third quarter of next year.

Earlier this year, G2 Salon, LEGO, Apricot Lane and Crewcuts by J. Crew, a kids clothing store, opened in the Northshore Mall.

Here’s is a quick rundown of the new shops and when they will be opening.

Northshore Mall

The Container Store aims to help customers get organized and save space and time, selling a variety of shelving, storage systems, bins and baskets, cleaning supplies, and more. The new 24,000-square-foot store will open in mid-October. www.containerstore.com.

Orvis started as a specialty shop for fly-fishing gear, but you don’t have to be a fisherman to shop there now. Orvis sells clothing, home furnishings, gifts and dog products for those with an active lifestyle. It plans to open in October. www.orvis.com.

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