As the outdoor-gear store gets set to open, officials say they are pleased with sales from current retailers. Eastern Mountain Sports, an upscale chain specializing in outdoor gear, will open Friday to complete the first phase of Sansom Common. And if officials' assessment of the new retail complex's performance so far is any indication, the store will sell its jackets, hiking boots and other products more briskly than even its management expects it to. Sales from three other retailers that have been opened since July in the Penn-owned building have met or exceeded expectations, according to University officials and store operators. Officials refused to disclose any specific revenue figures. The EMS store at Penn -- which in January will feature a 20-foot climbing wall -- will be the 116th for the 31-year-old chain based in Peterborough, N.H. It joins the new University Bookstore, which anchors the complex at 36th and Walnut streets, the Xando coffeehouse and bar, Urban Outfitters clothing and Parfumerie Douglas cosmetics. Penn officials have expressed hope that the mix of upscale and trendy stores in Sansom Common will lure more shoppers and foot traffic to University City. Tom Lussenhop, Penn's top real estate official, said the stores have been a "huge success" so far. "The success of the current stores has resulted in a powerful demand for the remaining spaces in the complex," he noted. The arrival of EMS will complete the $90 million first phase of Sansom Common and fill the 6,000-square-foot-space on the building's eastern side between Xando, which opened in August, and Urban Outfitters, which opened in October. The bookstore opened in July, and Parfumerie Douglas opened last month. The second phase of the project will include the 256-room Inn at Penn, as well as two additional retailers and a restaurant. The entire project, estimated to cost $120 million, is scheduled to be completed by next fall. Lussenhop said University officials will announce what three establishments will occupy the remaining spots in the complex "early in the new year." As the complex readies for the arrival of EMS, Parfumerie Douglas, located on Walnut Street, has been doing "very well," according to store manager Sandy Iannaco. "The students seem to really enjoy all the goods we offer," Iannaco said. "We expect it to get even better as we incorporate more imported goods into our merchandise." Urban Outfitters has also been performing strongly, according to Director of Stores Jay Hammer. "We have been very pleased with how well the store has been doing in the first weeks since it opened," Hammer said. And the bookstore has been doing well also, according to Penn Interim Vice President of Business Services Marie Witt, whose department oversees the Barnes & Noble College Bookstores Inc.-operated store. Officials at Xando did not return repeated calls for comment. University officials also have an eye to the future. Plans for the Doubletree Hotels Corp.-run hotel are still in the preliminary stages, although University officials did name its restaurant Grand's Bar and Grill and decided on a menu of upscale cuisine.Comments powered by Disqus
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