Thursday, November 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Tesla to add King of Prussia Mall store

Walt Disney, DKNY are gone

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.)

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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