Tesla to add King of Prussia Mall store

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors will open a storefront office "to educate visitors" at King of Prussia Mall later this Spring, mall owner Simon Property Group said in a statement this morning.

Nine other stores are scheduled to open, replacing departed retailers including once high-profile Walt Disney and DKNY.

Tesla already has a designated "service center" in Norristown. The California-based battery-powered plug-in maker also boasts five "stores and galleries" in the New York area, one in Washington and one in suburban Boston. The company, headed by South Africa-born entrepreneur Elon Musk, is the leading stand-alone electric carmaker in the U.S., especially since the implosion of rival Fisker, which had arranged $21 million in Delaware state funding and federal loans of $170 million in hopes of building cars at a plant near Wilmington and had signed up local dealers like Union Park.

Other new KofP stores planned this Spring, according to Bob Hart, mall manager:
   - West Elm, home furnishings, in the former Disney store (at the Court)
   - Crumbs Bake Shop (replacing short-term tenant Rapid Cash for Gold)
   - Garage and Dynamite, young women's clothing sellers (Dynamite is in the former Bakers space, Garage replaces short-term tenant Pajama Party)
Summer openings:
   - Make Up For Ever
   - Bachrach men's clothing (replaces short-term Bijou Ave.)
   - Hearts On Fire (at the former Piazza Sempione site)
Due this fall:
   - Saint Laurent Paris (in the ex-DKNY space)
   - Soft Surroundings (in the old Eddie Bauer sporting goods store).

Tesla and Diesel (get the motor theme?) are opening in the 100,000 sq ft former department store that us old-time shoppers remember as a former Wanamaker's, which has lately been opened up as a new store corridor, says Bob Hart, the mall's manager.

Recent store openings at KofP include outlets for Microsoft (in a kiosk), Swatch, Body Shop (in the Betsey Johnson space), Diesel, Flip Flop Shops (replacing Layla's), and Philly's Tony Luke's steak sandwich shop (replacing Original Philly Cheesesteak). 

(Note: an earlier version of this item wrongly identified Musk's nation of origin. Thanks for flagging that, Tom B.)

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