Thursday, September 13, 2012

South Hills Village sees changes - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The name Audrey's Attic was chosen more than two decades ago for a new store at Pittsburgh International Airport so that, among other reasons, it would appear near the top of any alphabetical directory.

Today, the logic is still bearing fruit -- in triplicate.

Three Audrey's stores top the list of new, renovated, relocated, merged or expanded stores at South Hills Village: Audrey's, Audrey's Attic and Audrey's Christmas.

Each is owned by Ed and Judy Wetzel of Hampton.

Audrey's Attic reopened Aug. 27 with expanded home decor and collectibles after the July 5 opening of Audrey's, the franchise's new store for women's accessories, jewelry and handbags.

Audrey's Christmas store is scheduled to open the last week of September.

Mr. Wetzel, 65, began his foray into retail in 1971 as a manager and buyer for Alden Sports Center at South Hills Village.

"I grew up a mile away and think it's the best mall in Pittsburgh," he said.

In addition to the demographics of the surrounding areas of Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon and Peters, he cited the mall's size.

"It's small enough you don't have to walk far. Every corner, they'll find you," he said of customers.

The Audrey's stores are among a number of changes taking place at South Hills Village.

Another family-owned business, Nations Art Gallery, which offers custom framing, posters, prints, autographed sports memorabilia and more, relocated closer to anchor Macy's on the upper level.

Also moving nearer to Macy's was New York & Company, which sells women's fashions and accessories.

Bath & Body Works is now on the upper level closer to the center of the mall.

Some tenants that remained in their original locations made other changes.

Victoria's Secret expanded by 3,000 square feet to occupy side-by-side storefronts.

Gap, Gap Body and Gap Kids combined at the original Gap location into one Gap superstore.

The Limited, which has been a mall tenant for decades, will reopen this month in its same, but renovated, space.

Other stores at the mall that opened earlier this year include Francesca's Collections, Bare Escentuals and Saga Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar.

The newest arrival is a Pirates baseball kiosk on the lower level outside Abercrombie & Fitch that provides no-fee ticket purchases.

Coming this month is 2b, a women's apparel store, and a Spirit Halloween store.

Dick's Sporting Goods and Target stores will occupy the site of the former Boscov's on the north end of the mall.

Dick's will open in the fall on the upper level. The opening of Target on the lower level is planned for March.

The Simon Property Group acquired South Hills Village in 1997.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, it owns or has an interest in 335 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 244 million square feet.

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