Thousands line up to shop at new outlet mall (Winnipeg Free Press)
Thousands of eager bargain hunters lined up this morning for the grand opening of Winnipeg's first and only dedicated factory outlet mall.
The 400,000-square-foot Outlet Collection Winnipeg mall opened its doors to the public at 10 a.m. sharp, but some people began queuing up at midnight, hoping to be among the first 1,000 to get in and receive a $30 gift certificate.
One development official estimated as many as 4,000 people waiting to get inside at 9:30 a.m., while about 300 VIP guests were gathered inside for the grand opening ceremony.
Premier Brian Pallister and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman both heralded the mall's arrival and the positive impact it will have on the local economy.
"There are a lot of good things happening in Manitoba," Pallister said. "Our province has become a centre of excellence in many ways."
Bowman said the mall opening is reflective of the fact Winnipeg is a growing city. "Winnipeg is increasingly becoming a destination city," he said.
The mall's developer - Ivanhoe Cambridge - expects the $200-million complex will draw shoppers from the northern United States, Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario.
The Outlet Collection Winnipeg features more than 100 stores - some are slated to open later this year - offering clothing and other consumer goods at 25 to 65 per cent off regular retail prices.
Anchor tenants include Saks Off 5th, Old Navy, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, F21 Red and Winners.
The mall is the centrepiece in the Seasons retail-office-hotel-residential development located on the northwest corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway.