When Bloomingdale's opens its new store in the Glendale Galleria on Friday, it will put a cap on a yearlong transformation of the mall from a 1970s-era brick monolith into a new, sleeker shopping center that fits in with the city's bustling retail hub downtown.
Larry Martin, the Galleria's general manager, said Tuesday the renovations went hand in hand with the mall's effort to remain a retail flagship in Glendale, along with the neighboring Americana at Brand.
“Clearly, this is really a three-block area in downtown Glendale that is a synergy area driving retail sales and customers to the area,” he said. “The renovation has really provided us the opportunity to upgrade the shopping center and maintain our competitive standing in Los Angeles.”
The renovations include a new main entrance on Central Avenue and new glass elevators as well as all new black-and-white exterior facades and interior décor, plus large landscaping elements and 9-foot-tall signage.
Martin said the renovations helped the mall bring new, upscale tenants to surround Bloomingdale's, such as Kitson, Pirch and Victoria's Secret.
“We have had the opportunity to clean that whole wing and re-merchandise that area for higher-end tenants,” he said. “Tenants that will do better around Bloomingdale's.”
Bloomingdale's takes the space formerly occupied by a Mervyn's clothing retailer.
At 115,000 square feet over two levels, the new Bloomingdale's isn't as large as the Nordstrom that was in the Galleria before relocating to the Americana this year.
Jack Hruska, Bloomingdale's executive vice president for store design, said the store was built extremely quickly, in around five months, to debut at the same time as the Galleria's improvements.
“When we come into a community, we tailor the store to the community,” he said during interviews inside the new Bloomingdale's. “The market here is a youthful customer that likes a lot of bling, so we jazzed up the store.”
Mary McGreevy, the store's general manager, said this location was curated to be a more selective collection, with prominent placement for brands such as Gucci and Luis Vuitton as well as a large jewelry department.
“This is our small-size store concept, there's no home goods,” she said. “This location is pretty lux, pretty glam.”
McGreevy said the store would have around 200 employees, comprised of both internal transfers and new hires.