Absolutely the biggest story of the year is the new Gloucester Premium Outlets, in the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township. It’s also the most impactful as the opening of this shopping center changes everything! When fully operational it will bring 90 new outlet stores to the highly traveled Route 42!
A key topic is will it help or hurt the other shopping districts, namely the Deptford Mall and surrounding stores. An obvious thought is the Outlets will pull business from every area store and shopping area… but they should also be such a regional draw with people visiting from all over the Delaware Valley… people who then could head over to other shopping districts. There are Targets, Walmarts, and Pet stores every 10 miles, but the closest outlet mall is 50 miles away
There is also an expectation that this is a catalyst for additional growth in the area. In an interview with 42Freeway last year, Dave Mayer, the Mayor of Gloucester Township discussed exactly that… growth opportunities to come on the Black Horse Pike, and on his wish list would be a hotel on the other side of Rt 42 which would serve both the Outlets and Camden County College.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the impacts… good and bad.
Considering this is such a big deal, I’ve been a little bit low-key on the posts here at 42Freeway. The main reason is, I like the stories where people just didn’t know something was happening. In my About page I explain I like to focus on the “Hey what’s being built over at… Did you hear that… ” type of story. Well, once the Outlets were announced and the cat was out of the bag, I didn’t report much after that other than a construction video and an explanation of the taxes. Oddly now that they are opened I will probably post more about the individual store openings going forward, then the full 90 shop grand opening.
Speaking of construction… Kudos to the development teams for making the date on time. I drove by tonight and there were some workers still putting up some signage, but overall people really buster their butts to get this done on time. The August opening date has been out there since last year… so again, it’s impressive to hit it.
The grand opening brings the following special events:
Reality show Celebrity and Skinny Girl Margarita founder Bethany Frankel is one of the highlights, as are bands and fireworks.
Here is a breakdown of the events (which I’ve pulled together from the Outlet site and other media)
- 9:30 am Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (Mayor Mayor, Rep Norcross)
- 10:00 am Stores Open
- 11am & 3:30pm – Daniel D
- 12:30pm & 5pm – British-Mania
- 2pm & 6:30pm – Midtown Express
- 7:45pm – DJ Johnny B
- 9:15pm – Fireworks!
- 11am & 3pm – Park Ave
- 12:15pm & 4:15pm – The Nerds
- 1:30pm – Baby Soda
- 11am, 3pm, 4:15pm – Park Central
- 12:15pm @ 3pm – Daniel D
- 1pm Bethany Frankel – Must Haves for Summer
- 1:30pm & 4pm – Bethany Autograph session
- 3:30pm – Bethany Accessories on the go!
I hope to be getting over to the outlets on opening day, but my day job calls… so I’ll be trying to check it out later in the evening. That’s if I can get in. The Gloucester Township Police are issuing alerts regarding the parking. They realize its going to be packed. There will be overflow parking at College (With shuttles I assume).
Which brings me to a few thoughts….
Parking Spaces: Other published reports say they have 1,900 spots. Considering 90 stores, and assuming each will have 5-10 employees at opening… easily 1/3 of the spots could be taken just by employees. Driving by tonight, there were a lot of cars in the place, and that was with no shoppers. While the Grand Opening will obviously be jammed, it will be interesting to see how the parking holds up for the upcoming Holiday Season.
Food: There are some fast food style vendors, but there are no larger restaurants or alcohol serving places at the center or in the immediate surrounding areas. A Friendly’s is planned. But the New Jersey liquor license laws makes it tough to put national eateries in the front of the center as planned. Older local bar Sam’s located in the even older shopping center next door is rumored to be in for remodel. But simply, after a day of shopping with Grandmon at that outlets, the options are the Lamp Post Diner across 42, the shoppes at Cross Keys, or the 12 national eateries in Deptford. I have more info on liquor licenses to come.
Shoe Stores: This place will be shoe lovers heaven. There are 19 shoe stores in the grand opening! Considering not all of the spots are opened yet, it could be that 1 in 4 stores are for your feet!
I don’t want to sound like I am dwelling on negatives!! I love this place, I love that it’s close to my house (but not too close), and I am ecstatic that it sits in the core center of my Route 42 coverage area! Would I be happier if this were developed on the Bellmawr Landfill property instead, maybe a little… Maybe even happier if this were further south from Deptford? Sure. But this is a great addition to the area.
Simon Premium Outlets
100 Premium Outlets Drive
Blackwood, NJ 08012
For GPS Directions, try the locally loved Italian Village Market’s address
1136 S Black Horse Pike,
Blackwood, NJ 08012