San Francisco Premium Outlets opened its 185,000 square-foot expansion Thursday, making it the largest outlet center in California.
The 35 new stores opening in the outlet center expansion include Byer California's first Bay Area brick-and-mortar store, A/X Armani Exchange, CH Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Jimmy Choo, Rag & Bone New York, Scotch & Soda, Ted Baker London, Tory Burch, UGG Australia, Versace and Vince. Two current stores in the center, Armani Outlet and Michael Kors, also have relocated to larger retail spaces in the expanded center.
Representatives of Simon Property Group celebrated Thursday's grand opening with a breakfast for city and civic leaders followed by a public art dedication at ahead of store openings. Simon, a global leader in retail real estate ownership, owns and operates both Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton and San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore.
Speakers included Livermore Mayor John Marchand and Dave Ackerman, Simon's director of Marketing and Business Development for the San Francisco Premium Outlets.
Simon changed the name of the outlet center, originally called the Livermore Outlets when it opened in 2012, as its marketing area grew to include the entire Bay region, including the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, North Bay and all of the East Bay, renaming it to reflect the San Francisco designation it now serves. The outlet mall currently employs 2,000 full and part-time employees and has added another 750 retail positions with the opening of its expansion.
"We're thrilled to welcome this wonderful group of iconic brands and luxury names," said Ackerman, who was recently named to the board of Visit Tri-Valley, which promotes tourism in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and Danville.
In addition to the new stores in the expanded center, the main center features 160 outlet stores , including Bloomingdale's Outlet, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Barneys New York, Burberry, Cole Haan, DKNY, Elie Tahari, Kate Spade New York and Prada.
Livermore Police warned that shopper interest and specials being offered during the expanded center's opening weekend could cause "a tremendous increase in traffic congestion to not only include the neighboring streets, but the I-580 freeway."
As a result, motorists should expect both eastbound and westbound traffic on I-580 at El Charro Boulevard to be heavily impacted as well as Jack London Boulevard.
LPD advises commuters to avoid this area in order to prevent further traffic congestion.
However, a Livermore Police Department spokesman said police likely not be directing traffic in the area, "as we anticipate that the current traffic signals will handle the flow of traffic acceptably."
During heavy traffic times, the entrance to the Outlets at "The Shoppes" will be closed forcing all traffic to enter the mall via Livermore Outlets Drive. This creates a traffic flow through the outlets in a counter clockwise rotation which eases congestion and bottlenecking of traffic, police said.
Shoppers are asked to remain patient as they seek parking within designated parking areas, to park in appropriately marked parking lots and to remain respectful of the surrounding properties not necessarily affiliated with the outlet mall.
Police also advised shoppers that carpooling is strongly encouraged. Public transportation is also recommended with WHEELS buses stopping directly in front of the mall.
With regards to parking, remember to lock vehicles and don't leave any personal belongings or valuables in plain sight.
Report any suspicious activity to LPD Dispatch at (925) 371-4987.