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Prime Outlets opens some stores in phase III

April 02, 2000|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Cindi and Dennis Kelly drove from their Hanover, Pa., home to Prime Outlets at Hagerstown Sunday for one reason - to exchange a bracket for a stereo they'd bought from one of the outlet mall's stores.

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But once they arrived and saw the new third phase and stand-alone home furnishings store, they decided to stick around and check them out.

"They've added some good stores," said Cindi Kelly, 51, who said she spent $100 in the new Geoffrey Beene store and was eying the yet-to-open Banana Republic store for their college-age daughter.

Dennis Kelly, 58, said he was glad to see the new Camp Coleman store.

"Camping gear, that's my kind of store," he said.

The village-style Prime Outlets at Hagerstown has had three additions since the 218,000-square-foot Phase I opened in August 1998.

The opening of Phase II in November 1998 added an additional 103,157 square feet to the shopping complex.

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The Home Co., housed in a separate 66,169-square-foot building, had its grand opening on Friday.

While the grand opening of the 97,980-square-foot third phase isn't until April 14, most of the stores will be open before then, according to Marketing Director Alice Rosen.

Eight of the 20 stores had opened for business by Sunday.

Camp Coleman, Geoffrey Beene, Guess? Factory Store, Maidenform, Mikasa, Oneida, SAS Shoes and Woolrich were open.

The rest were in varying stages of readiness. Of them, only Designer Fragrances & Cosmetics Co. had an opening date - April 4 - written on a paper sign posted in the window.

Despite a drizzling rain, shoppers were wandering over to Phase III from the main outlet building in large numbers Sunday afternoon.

Like the Kellys, Carol and Don Ryan of Follansbee, W.Va., near Wheeling, said they didn't come because of the new stores.

But they were a welcome addition, said Carol Ryan, holding a bag of finds from the new Mikasa store.

The Ryans knew about the mall from passing it several times on the way to visit their daughter in Hanover, Pa.

"She kept saying, 'Stop, stop, stop,' and I kept saying 'No, no, no,'" said Don Ryan, 46.

This visit, they planned a stop at the outlets on their way home so Carol Ryan could look for a mother-of-the-bride dress.

They found some crystal table accessories for the wedding at a great price at Mikasa, she said.

Jamie Dailey and Sherri Russell were just passing by on their way home from Berkeley Springs, W.Va., when they decided to hop off the highway and check out the outlet mall.

Both first-timers at the outlets, they said they were impressed with all three phases and The Home Co.

They found a good selection of stores and some good deals, they said.

"Not everything is a bargain, but there are bargains to be found," said Dailey, 37, of Frederick, Md., touting the price she found on sheets at the Ralph Lauren outlet.

Russell, 40, of Bowie, Md., said she got a good deal on bras at the Bali store.

They checked out The Home Co. but didn't buy anything there, they said.

The store is huge and beautiful but they didn't see anything that matched their bargain-hunting sensibilities, they said.

Kirk Bauer, district manager for Camp Coleman Factory Stores, said he was pleasantly surprised by the weekend traffic in the new store, which opened Friday.

"We're surprised because the new phase isn't completely full yet," said Bauer, who said about half of the people coming in were just browsing and the other half were buying.

He said he thought the turnout had a lot to do with the mall's promotional efforts, including having a clown and a band on site throughout the weekend.

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