Dillard's to buy larger space, double its size

Virginia

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The larger store will mean Dillard's can "dramatically" expand its offerings.

The space in the Oaks Mall being vacated by Macy’s won’t be empty for long, as Dillard’s has announced plans to open a store in the space that is double the size of its current location.

Plans call for the new location to open in November in time for the Christmas shopping season and for the current location to remain in operation, said Julie Johnson Guymon, Dillard’s corporate spokeswoman.

The 180,000-square-foot location is double the size of the current Dillard's, and preliminary plans include one end of the store housing cosmetics, lingerie, junior and women’s apparel, while the other end will sell children's and men’s apparel, and home merchandise, Guymon said.

The children’s and home merchandise departments are not available in the Dillard’s now open in the mall, Guymon said.

Macy’s announced last week that it will close its Oaks Mall location after being there for more than 30 years, but there isn't a definite date when the retailer — known for selling brand-name clothes, accessories and housewares — will close in Gainesville, Andrea Schwartz, vice president of media relations for Macy’s North Central and South Regions, wrote in an email. Retail experts say it should be within about four months.

The new Dillard’s will have more open space, fewer barriers between sales employees and customers and the latest lighting concepts and modernized fitting rooms and sitting areas, Guymon said.

Company officials don't yet know how many jobs the new store will create, and Guymon said the current location has about 70 employees.

Dillard’s opened in the Oaks Mall in 1990, and specializes in selling premium brands, Guymon said.

"We will have two anchor locations in the Oaks Mall because we have a lot of confidence in the Gainesville market," she said. "We believe in the Gainesville market and we believe that with this expansion we will be able to serve our customers at an even higher level."

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