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Michael Kors, Madewell headed for Crabtree

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Crabtree Valley Mall is getting ready to play the mall version of musical chairs as it moves stores around to make room for two new apparel retailers: Michael Kors and Madewell.

Sandra Guist, marketing director at Crabtree, said both retailers will open in spring 2013.

The Michael Kors store is a particular coup for the mall, and Guist said the mall had been working to get the American designer’s store there for several years. The only other Kors stores in North Carolina are at SouthPark in Charlotte with outlet shops in Concord Mills Outlet Mall and Tanger Outlet in Mebane.

Michael Kors sells handbags, shoes and clothes for men and women at its own shops and through other retailers.

The company, which is based in Hong Kong, has opened 71 new stores since the end of last year.

The retailer has a luxury fan base according to analysts. Its CEO John Idol recently described the store as offering a “jet-set in-store experience.”

How luxurious? Crocodile handbags can run more than $2,000 and a halter dress more than $7,000. Still, the majority of its merchandise is what it calls “affordable luxuries” such as $300 sunglasses and $600 purses.

At Crabtree, the Kors store will go into 2,000 square feet on the upper level now occupied by The Body Shop and Soho Shoes. That move is setting off a chain reaction.

The Body Shop is moving into the upper-level space now occupied by Select Comfort. Select Comfort is moving to the lower level space that now houses Yankee Candle. Yankee Candle is moving upstairs to the former Bakers shoes location.

Guist said the mall is still working with Soho Shoes to find it a new location.

As for Madewell, which sells women’s clothing, it is going into the Delia’s space upstairs. Delia’s is leaving the mall.

There is already a Madewell in North Carolina, at SouthPark in Charlotte, and another is planned for the Streets at Southpoint in Durham.

Madewell is owned by J.Crew and has been described as that retailer’s edgier cousin, selling trendy but affordable clothes.

Both stores are expected to begin construction in February.

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About the blogger

Mary Cornatzer has worked at The News & Observer for more than 25 years, covering the local music industry, state movie industry and travel. She has been the paper's Business editor since 2000. Contact Mary at 919-829-4755 or e-mail her.