Is Bloomingdale’s Really Coming to Center City?

And will it be another outlet store?


Bloomingdale’s in New York City. | Shutterstock.

The Bloomingdale’s rumors have been churning for some time now. Two years ago, our resident pap HughE Dillon wrote on his blog, Philly Chit Chat, that reps from Bloomie’s looked at the Burlington Coat Factory space four times, once with lawyers and a design team. (In a July 2014 update on the post, HughE wrote that Bloomingdale’s was seeking other spaces, as the city won’t let them tear down the BCF building.)

And then, early last month, MSC Retail sent out a heartening email announcing that Bloomingdale’s is “actively looking” for space for a full-line store in Center City. MSC president and CEO Michael Salove wouldn’t comment further on the possibility; Brittany Goldberg, MSC’s “high-street specialist” (she’s the one who helps bring the big-name retailers to Philly), also wouldn’t comment when I reached out to her. 

But others have been chatting: Last week, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that Bloomingdale’s was “seriously” considering a 20,870-square-foot anchor space at the Shops at Liberty Place. The article also noted that an outlet location was likely (sigh), which might actually be the case.  According to the initial MSC email, Bloomingdale’s is looking for smaller-scale outlet opportunities in “Eastern PA, Southern NJ and DE,” in spaces from 15,000 to 25,00 square feet. They require 120,000 to 150,000 square feet for a full-line store.

In any case, it seems the company’s dogged attempts at setting roots in Philly will (eventually) pan out, though perhaps on a less-grand scale than we’d all initially hoped for. While you wait for Bloomie’s to settle down, have fun checking out their site requirements. (And if you have a perfect 120,000-square-foot space, please speak up, won’t you?)