Famous Footwear, Lids and VF Outlet held soft and grand openings beginning last Wednesday and continuing through the weekend, culminating in peak foot traffic on Saturday. Each of the store managers said they are coming to understand Legends as a “weekend mall” and all were impressed with their opening weekend numbers.
“It was amazing,” Donald Foster, Famous Footwear manager, said. “It was crazy busy, almost like a Black Friday. It was jam-packed, we had a DJ in here and an artist doing designs on the Bearpaws (boots) because of the huge sale on those. We blew our goal out of the water and it was really an awesome day.”
Famous Footwear’s new 4,800 square-foot facility was wall-to-wall shoes Monday morning as Foster decompressed from the weekend by leisurely handling an occasional customer. He said the crowds who stormed the store for the grand opening were a testament to its location and the frequenters of Legends.
“It is just a really great location,” Foster said. “There are a lot of good stores around here and it usually brings in a good crowd. There are a lot of good things coming in here with the movie theater and a couple new stores. It is the only outlet mall around here so people will come here.”
Danny Raya, manager at the new Lids stores, said Saturday was undoubtedly the store’s best day, which featured sales on all headwear and a live DJ in the store. He said seeing the store’s success thus far has him hopeful for its potential when the weather turns around.
“I am looking forward to the theater most of all,” Raya said. “That is going to bring in a lot of business for everyone here, especially the stores in the same vicinity and we are right in the middle. I am really looking forward to that and summer coming around. I think our peak will come in the summertime when we will see people stopping in constantly.”
Raya came to Sparks from the Meadowood Mall location, which is smaller than the new 1,000 square-foot Legends facility, giving him more room for the various hats. He said the Reno mall experience will prove valuable for him this weekend when Black Friday crowds flock to the outlet mall.
“Black Friday will be fun around here because we have hats that are never on sale that will be on sale,” Raya said. “I am looking forward to that and seeing how it is here. I was at Meadowood Mall and I want to see the difference between the two. I am sure it is not going to be as busy as Meadowood Mall, but I am used to that traffic so I think I will be ok.”
The VF Outlet, which was founded as a jeanswear company and has expanded to include many clothing items, is the biggest of the three new stores with more than 28,000 square feet for the entire facility. Store Manager Kristen McMillen said a few hundred people came out to the store’s soft and grand openings during the weekend, but Black Friday should prove beneficial for the store.
“I heard the mall gets extremely busy on Black Friday,” McMillen said. “I am new to the area so I am not quite sure how the traffic will be, but I am just waiting to see how it goes. We are excited and hoping for a large turnout.”
McMillen said “mystery shop cards” offer shoppers the chance to get anywhere from 10 to 100 percent off their entire purchase on Black Friday when all Legends stores will be open from 8 p.m. Thursday through 9 p.m. Friday. McMillen has the biggest staff of all the new stores with 24 associates and she said she hopes to enlighten the public about what the store has to offer.
“I think I am most looking forward to driving the business and getting our name out there. I don’t think a lot of people know about VF or what we sell,” McMillen said after explaining her staff worked out the majority of kinks during the weekend. “Everything is a learning process and there were a couple glitches here and there, but everything is running just fine.”
Famous Footwear and Lids both have staffs of 10 people or less and have a few seasonal workers during the holiday season. As all the stores prepare for the 25 consecutive hours of Black Friday shopping, each of them looks to find their place among the national chain and other name-brand stores.
“I have been really busy in here so I haven’t really had time to walk around the whole mall or anything, but one of the co-managers from Nike came in here and gave us some coupons and welcomed us to the area,” Raya said. “He talked to me about the busiest hours of Black Friday and how I can schedule my staff, which was really cool. I think it will be fun to fit in with all the stores around here.”