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  • 3 months later...

Dec. 3, 2004, 12:05AM

Neiman Marcus says it's Last Call

Upscale bargains abound at Katy clearance center

By CLIFFORD PUGH

Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

Upscale bargain hunters, rejoice. ADVERTISEMENT

The Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center opens today at Katy Mills with a store full of designer names at cut-rate prices.

At a store preview Thursday, we found such items as a $2,400 Prada crocodile clutch for $850, a $140 Tracy Reese white cardigan for $49, a $310 Nicole Miller plum cocktail dress for $108, and an $895 Hugo Boss men's brown striped suit for $500.

The Neiman Marcus clearance center is the 13th such store to open in the nation and the first in Houston.

(The Neiman Marcus Town & Country store contains an outlet that features discount merchandise from the chain's catalog. The new Katy Mills store contains merchandise from stores, the catalog division and end-of-season merchandise from vendors.)

"It's a necessary evil in retail that you always have something left over," said Gayle Tremblay, vice president of the Neiman Marcus clearance division.

Unsold sale merchandise from the 35 Neiman Marcus stores is shipped to Longview, where it is sorted and repackaged to the outlet stores.

"We take a leftover treasure from one part of the country, like a size 6 Chanel jacket in Chicago, and marry it with another, like a size 6 Chanel skirt in Arizona," said Tremblay, who managed the Galleria store from 1989 to 1997. "We put it together and back in (an outlet) store."

She pointed out that all but one of the 13 outlet stores is located near cities with full-service Neiman Marcus stores.

"It's actually a nice complement," she said. "We consider this a great introduction to Neiman Marcus."

As it happens at most outlet stores, sizes and styles vary. But some treasures can be found.

A pair of Manolo Blahnik gold stilettos, regularly $865, are on sale for $579. An $895 Georgio Armani jacket is $223. A DKNY fur cape has been slashed from $1,500 to $525. A jeweled Judith Leiber handbag is reduced from $3,600 to $2,355.

Trembly offered shoppers this advice: "When you shop here, you'd better buy it when you see it, because it won't be here tomorrow," she said.

Seasoned shoppers can also take note: Rival Saks Fifth Avenue has a discount outlet a few doors down.

clifford.pugh@chron.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Season of change for Katy Mills

By: Leslie Contreras, Staff, HCN 12/01/2004

Recent bankruptcies for KB Toys and Jillian's may cause Katy Mills to close their stores, but general manager Mace Hirt is not worried.

Rumors that Katy Mills is not doing well are false, he said.

"If you were here today, you'd know," Hirt said in an interview Nov. 22.

KB Toys, Inc. filed chapter 11 protection last January and announced in October that it sought to recoup losses through its reorganization plan that includes the closing of an additional 141 to 238 stores.

Among the closings are Katy Mills, West Oaks, Northwest Mall Shopping Center, First Colony in Sugar Land and Pasadena Town Square.

The company said the decision to file for bankruptcy was due to weak sales in the 2003 holiday season caused mainly by increased competition in the industry.

Director of Sales Relations and Public Relations at KB Toys, John Reilly, said there is no specific closing date as of yet for the store but that closing will occur after the holiday season.

"Stores will remain open through December and customers can expect the same shipments and specials," Reilly said.

Closing should be completed by early January 2005.

"We hate to close any store because it affects the people and the community, but we we're not getting the right return and reorganization affords us the opportunity to get out of our losses," Reilly said. "Hopefully we can reemerge in these areas after recovery."

Meanwhile, Jillian's Entertainment center may be bringing its fun and games to an end after the holiday season.

In October, Jillian's Entertainment Holdings sold the majority of its larger complexes to Dave and Buster's Inc.

A spokesman from Dave and Buster's, Jeff Elliot, said that the buyer was purchasing "the assets of the Katy location, but has no intention of operating from that location," :( the Houston Business Journal reported in a recent article.

In the same article, Jillian's Chief Financial Officer Greg Stevens said Dave and Buster's would not be taking over the lease at Katy Mills.

Dave and Buster's completed the acquisition of Louisville-based company assets, along with its trade name, in November. Spokespeople from The Mills Corporation, Jillian's, and Dave and Buster's are now reluctant to disclose the outcome of the Katy Mills entertainment complex.

"Negotiations are still going on," said Elliot, "There is no news at this time . . . I don't know truthfully what the plans are for the Katy Mills location."

However, Elliott referred to a Dave and Buster's press release from November that states nine Jillian's stores in Houston were purchased. The press release from November, Elliot said, lists the locations of the stores purchased, which includes Houston, but does not indicate that the Katy Mills location was purchased. Earlier reports state that Dave and Buster's would be also be purchasing and operating the Jillian's MarqE Entertainment Center at Interstate 10 and Silber in Houston.

The Mill Corporation also declines to disclose information on the issue. "Negotiations between Jillian's and Dave and Buster's are ongoing, so we have no further comment on the status of the Jillian's at Katy Mills," said David Douglass, Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications at The Mills Corporation.

Mace Hirt contested statements that Jillian's will not be operating at Katy Mills after the Dave and Buster's acquisition is fully implemented. "The location of Jillian's will stay as it is, and this was always the case," said Hirt. Details on whether the entertainment center will be named Dave and Buster's, or remain under the Jillian's name is not known yet.

More details will be available after the Dave and Buster's third quarter conference call on December 8, Elliott adds, as details had not gone public at the time of the interview. The conference call will be archived on the Dave and Buster's website through December 22.

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  • 2 years later...

The deal that was made for the mall was a partnership between Simon and the Mills Corp.--anything can change now.

I gotta tell ya, I don't even know if that mall or the Westside Marketplace is even gonna happen anyway--they (Simon) haven't had a press release regarding it since 2005 and nothing else has happened out there.

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  • 1 year later...

Well, circuitcity.com has them Grand Opening on Thursday, yet an article on the chron.com said next month (which would be in agreement with the March 6th date I saw on katymills website)..

I was wondering if anyone could confirm the date, and if they know what athlete will be signing autographs at the opening.

thanks. should be interesting as this is one of their new Concept Stores called The City. they opened one in Deerbrook 2 weeks ago, and there's only like 16 total in the country.

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  • 10 years later...

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