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Eastview Mall evolves with Von Maur, high-end stores

Victor, N.Y. Meredeth Paddock moved back to the Rochester area after spending many years in San Diego. She said that when she came back, she was disappointed in the shopping options.

I moved back here from California in 2006 and we were used to the Nordstrom, the Bloomingdales and Macy's, she said. It was hard to come back here and see what [Eastview Mall] had.

She missed high-end shopping and she still knows several of her friends who travel to Syracuse and Buffalo for different stores.

However, she admitted that things are beginning to change at Eastview Mall.

I'm very happy to see some of the upscale stores like Michael Kors, Vera Bradley and Von Maur, she said. I'm very happy because I think it will be great for Rochester.

Over the past few years, more upscale shopping stores have moved into Eastviewlike Brooks Brothers, Vera Bradley, Michael Kors, Free People and Anthropologie.
Stores like Brighton, Athleta, Manns Jewelers, Von Maur and LOccitane will open by the end of 2013.

Mall management says these stores will do well at Eastview. 

The most successful stores here at the mall have been more of our upscale stores, said Mike Kauffman, general manager at Eastview. Weve seen great growth in our women's apparel category and accessories. With all the studies we've done with our shoppers, these are the stores they want to see. These are the stores that tend to do the best.

Last year, the mall announced plans to replace the Bon Ton department store with Von Maur. When it opens on October 26 this year, it will become the first Von Maur in the Northeast. The closest one to Rochester will be in Ohio. It will also be the anchor store to what is looking more and more like the upscale wing at Eastview.

Robert Mann, of Manns Jewelers, said Von Maur was a big factor in his decision to open a second store at Eastview.
The new store will be 1,000 sq. ft. larger than the current Manns on Monroe Avenue in Pittsford.

We just thought it would be a great opportunity to expose the store to a new market and to a new shopping experience, Mann explained.

He feels that Von Maur and the other upscale stores will draw more shoppers to Eastview and that his business could benefit from it as well.

[Eastview] is willing to put a lot of time and dollars into reinventing that wing of the mall, Mann said. I think Rochesterians, in general, are very frustrated with the shopping experience provided in our city. So I think that the Wilmorite Corporation has faith enough in Rochester to invest in it and bring in retailers that will do Rochester justice.

According to Kauffman, over the past five to ten years, the number of shoppers coming to Eastview from Buffalo, Syracuse and Canada has tripled. They are expecting that traffic to increase once Von Maur opens.

We know that they will come to visit Von Maur, to visit Manns. These are the types of stores that will expand the trade area for us and that's important.

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Washington Times