The American Dream mall last week opened its luxury wing, "The Avenue," featuring valet parking and high-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès, Johnny Was and Mulberry. Notably missing is Barneys, slated to be a headliner before it went bankrupt two years ago.
Special events included a Jo Malone fragrance workshop, and Sisley hair analysis and hand massages at Saks, and accessory customization at Dolce & Gabbana, per a company email. A limited-run gallery exhibit, "Art Meets Fashion," runs until Oct. 1.
The sprawling, entertainment-focused shopping center defaulted on its debt earlier this year, leading owner Triple Five Group to hand over stakes in its similar Mall of America as collateral.
Analysis of spending in recent weeks shows that, as some of the government's pandemic-related support fades away, wealthier consumers are increasingly the ones driving the economy.
While that's good news for the American Dream mall's new wing, it's no guarantee of success. The delta variant of the coronavirus is bringing back some consumer behaviors brought on by wariness around the disease, including spending more online. The delta strain's impact is also being felt on the supply side, with several retailers reporting rising freight costs and inventory constraints.
Travel and dining out is also slowing down again, which could leave more money in people's pockets to spend on goods, economists say. That could help boost what is turning out to be another uncertain holiday.
But that could also keep people away from American Dream, whose attractions are at least as focused on events, rides, entertainment and dining as they are on retail, if not more so.
That would be the latest complication in what for American Dream has been a long string of them. After years of delays, American Dream's grand opening had finally been set for spring 2020, just as the pandemic began to force temporary closures. American Dream ultimately was shut down for seven months last year, and reopened in the fall as another surge in COVID-19 cases began.