Von Maur to replace Bloomingdale's at Perimeter Mall

The Bloomingdale's space at Perimeter Mall won't stay vacant for long.

Thursday, Von Maur -- the Iowa department store chain that opened its first Georgia location in November -- announced it will be filling the space that Bloomingdale's has occupied since 2003.

The new store will bring about 250 jobs, Von Maur president Jim von Maur said, and is slated to open this fall. Bloomingdale's announced Wednesday it is leaving the mall, and begins its going-out-of-business sale Sunday. It is expected to run for 10 weeks.

Von Maur's first southern store, at North Point Mall in Alpharetta, is exceeding the company's expectations, von Maur said. The Perimeter location will be much larger, and von Maur said he expects to continue expanding in metro Atlanta and throughout the South. The company has already announced a new store in Birmingham.

"We'll continue to seek out new locations in the Atlanta area, as well as beyond," he said. "We go where opportunities are. We think it [Atlanta] could support a few more."

Wednesday, Perimeter Mall manager Dennis Kemp said the addition of Von Maur would be a positive for the mall in the long run. The store has been in discussions to move to Perimeter for more than six months, von Maur said.

"It's a unique story," he said. "A lot of retailers are pulling back, but we continue to grow."

Landing a retailer like Von Maur helps cushion the blow from losing Bloomingdale's, which attracts a luxury customer, said Jim Bieri, a principal with Stokas Bieri Real Estate advisory in Michigan. He also called the addition a positive for the mall.

"I don't think they lose a step," he said.

The Perimeter location will have a larger selection than Alpharetta, von Maur said, and be nearly 100,000 square feet larger than the North Point location -- or a little less than the size of a Home Depot store.

Von Maur will gut the Bloomingdale's and remodel the front of the store, von Maur said. He said since coming to the South, the company has learned to speed up its transition to spring lines, but otherwise hasn't made changes to adjust for shoppers here.

"People seem to like good service whether they're Iowans or Georgians," he said.