Loft, Ann Taylor, Bath & Body coming to Mall at University Town Center

Women's clothing stores will add to high-end retailer line-up

cschelle@bradenton.comMay 30, 2014 

TS-WINTERGEAR-1 MCT

A faux fur stole is among the products available at Ann Taylor, set to open at the Mall at UTC. Ann Taylor/MCT

HANDOUT — MCT

UNIVERSITY PARK -- Two brands of Ann Taylor stores will be coming to the Mall at University Town Center along with Bath & Body Works.

Each of the stores has committed to the two-level, high-end mall, filing building permit applications with Sarasota County on Friday.

Both Ann Taylor-branded stores have a presence inside the Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota and Loft maintains a factory store at the Ellenton Premium Outlets.

The company was founded in 1954 by Richard Liebeskind, offering designer dresses for women. It went national in 1983 with 47 stores across the United States and today has 1,025 stores under its various brands.

The company is now led by Kay Krill, and reported $219.9 million in net sales for Ann Taylor during the first quarter and $370.6 million in net sales for Loft stores during the first quarter.

By the end of its fiscal year, the company expects to grow from 1,032 stores worldwide to 1,045 stores.

The Ann Taylor stores are geared toward women's work wear, offering a more

conservative look, while Loft is geared toward younger women looking for casual wear for a night out.

Bath & Body Works, known for hand lotions and soaps, , started in 1990 and is based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

Bath & Body has locations in DeSoto Square mall, Westfield Sarasota Square Mall and an outlet in Ellenton.

The stores will join a bevy of high-end and luxury brands at the Mall at UTC including Saks Fifth Avenue along with Macy's, Dillard's, Apple, Crate & Barrel plus several restaurants.

The 880,000-square-foot mall is scheduled to open Oct. 16 on the corner of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway, and is being leased and managed by Taubman Centers.

Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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