Rosemont mall nears full occupancy with latest additions

Despite the nationwide decline in brick-and-mortar retail, Fashion Outlets of Chicago boasts a 97% occupancy rate of its two-floor, 530,000-square-foot indoor shopping center in Rosemont.

That’s with the recent addition of the first Midwest outlet of contemporary luxury brand Alexander McQueen, a London-based fashion house founded in 1992 by designer Lee Alexander McQueen.

By year’s end, officials expect the mall to reach full occupancy, with the addition of Vuori, 7 For All Mankind, Marc Jacobs and Sandro.

Other new recent tenants include Ulta, Express Outlet and Rally House, while existing retailers like Gucci, Michael Kors, Lululemon and Levi’s went through store expansions and renovations.

What’s the draw to visiting the mall’s 130 individual stores versus going to their websites?

“Being an outlet, you still can’t get a lot of that product online, so you have to come to the store to see what is being offered — especially our luxury brands,” said Katie Walsh, the mall’s senior marketing manager. “It’s always a mystery what the sale will be or what that great deal will be that you find when you come in store, because you can’t search that online.”

The forthcoming Vuori store — an athletic and performance apparel retailer that draws inspiration from the coastal California lifestyle — is one of several designer outlets that has chosen Fashion Outlets for its first Midwest location. Others include Gucci, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace and Aritzia.

Walsh also attributes the Rosemont shopping center’s staying power — now, in its 11th year — to the proximity to O’Hare International Airport.

“We really have become a tourist destination,” she said. “The international travelers know we have these brands and they’re making us a stop on their trip from the airport.”

While many brick-and-mortar retail centers are struggling, the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont is at 97% occupancy, and expects to have all its spaces filled later this year. Courtesy of Carol Fox and Associates Public Relations
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