Before hitting familiar stores at Briarwood Mall, shoppers will likely need to check a map.
Briarwood Mall announced plans last week to relocate several stores after completing an extensive renovation in November. During the upcoming transition, Forever 21, a clothing store, will expand into a new location and five other stores will move to new spaces within the mall.
The expanded Forever 21 will reopen at the end of 2014 in the JCPenny wing of the mall, but the existing store will remain open during the transition.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for Forever 21 to expand its size and offer more selections for its customers, like University of Michigan students,” said Hollon Kohtz, a public relations representative for the mall, in an e-mail interview.
In a press release, Denise Murray, Briarwood’s director of marketing and business development, said she is excited about the progress.
“Our mall has undergone amazing changes and transformations over the past year,” Murray said. “We are excited to continue to grow, expand and offer our shoppers the very best in retail.”
LSA senior Yilu Dai said she would be interested in shopping at a larger Forever 21, but that she has had trouble finding stores at Briarwood when they have relocated in the past.
“I shop at Forever 21 a lot so I probably will go if it’s bigger, but sometimes I feel like I kind of get lost,” she said.
Dai said Briarwood labeled the old storefronts with listings of new locations to prevent confusion and hopes the mall’s maps will be updated.
In addition to the Forever 21 expansion, Destination Maternity will relocate next to the Von Maur department store, and shoe store Journeys will take over the old Destination Maternity store. A Journeys Kids store is scheduled to open in the old Journey’s space in May.
Finally, Windsor, which specializes in dresses, is moving next to Wet Seal, and its old location will be filled by Payless Shoes and Icing, a jewelry store targeting pre-teen shoppers. Windsor is the only store that will not be open during its transition to a new location in the mall. It is currently closed and is expected to reopen on May 1.
Kohtz said that plans for the transition have been in the works for a few years.
“The mall will have a substantial new look and feel, which is something we are always working to achieve,” she said.
Last year’s renovation involved bringing in new retailers including Athleta and Michael Kors and the addition of a year-round ice skating rink. When the remodel concluded late last year, there were 40 days of activities and giveaways leading up to the holidays.
Kohtz said the renovation helped generate interest in the mall and the addition of the ice rink has been especially great for families and hosting events, like performances by The G-Men, University a capella group, during the holidays.
Briarwood also has plans to add two more restaurants outside Macy’s. The plan was approved by the city last month, but Kohtz said they are not yet ready to announce which restaurants will be moving in.