Carson's return marks second major opening at Randhurst Village
Nearly 200 shoppers, village officials, construction executives and store associates and executives gathered outside the north entrance of the Randhurst Village Carson Pirie Scott store in Mount Prospect early today for its long-awaited grand reopening.
Since the summer of 2009, the 48-year-old, 205,000-square foot store has undergone a nine-phase renovation while remaining open to shoppers.
"Every area has been retouched and we have lots of new brands to offer shoppers," said Sara Rehfeld, the new store manager who transferred in from Edens Plaza.
Both she and Steve Byers, vice president of stores for Bon Ton, the owner of Carson Pirie Scott, thanked the store's associates for their perseverance during the 18-month construction project, which involved moving some departments three or even four times.
Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana Wilks, joined by Trustees Paul Hoefert, John Korn and Steve Polit, cut the red ribbon, marking the renovated store's official reopening.
Fifty-year Carson's employee, Evelyn Van Roeyen, also participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"This is not happening anyplace else right now in this economy an amazing redevelopment of a mall," said Wilks. "It is very exciting."
Jim Conroy, Casto Development's director of development for Randhurst Village, told the crowd that the loyalty of Carson's Randhurst customers has amazed them.
"Nothing stops them. They will even fight their way through barricades and fences to get to this store.
"Today they will find a lighter, brighter, more inviting and up-to-date store from top to bottom," Conroy said, "and if you look out the new south entrance, which once would have led to the mall, you can watch the new Hampton Inn and Suites go up."
"We are turning what was once a stodgy old mall into a vibrant open air shopping experience," Conroy said.
Carson's reopening is the second major opening at Randhurst Village. Sports Authority opened its new store in August and the new AMC Theater is expected to open in April 2011.
Beeler Construction of Menomonee Falls, Wis., completed the Carson Pirie Scott renovation, that included new ceilings and walls, all new lighting, the addition of stylish column capitals and a shiny, large tile porcelain floor, according to Rick Rogers, field supervisor for the project. Some departments have video screens suspended from the ceiling.
New luxury fitting rooms with more space to try on clothes, as well as new guest seating areas and larger restrooms with wooden doors have also been added.
"It was a challenging project because we needed to meet deadlines and still keep the customers and store associates happy," Rogers said. "But we did it."
Rogers was joined by Curtis J. Beeler, CEO, and Chad Beeler, project manager for the Randhurst renovation.
Following the short ceremony, shoppers surged for the doors where they were each given a black Carson Pirie Scott umbrella as a gift. Light refreshments were served to shoppers and music was provided both indoors and out by "Lisa Edgar and Razz Ma Tazz," a jazz band from Milwaukee that includes Mount Prospect resident Ralph Wilder on the clarinet.
The store's celebration will continue with six days of festivities and events including beauty makeovers, musical entertainment, children's activities, cooking demonstrations and more. Special gifts and contest drawings are also planned.