Whether you’re in a pinch for a new outfit, need a perfect place to take the kids during the dog days of summer, or making plans with a friend for lunch, Concord Mills is the answer and has been for the last 20 years. In honor of the anniversary year, we walk through the evolution of Concord Mills that has grown from a shopping center to a Cabarrus County staple.
The property officially opened on September 17, 1999 with excitement to shop such stores as Arden B, the Bugle Boy Factory Store, Jillian’s, and Sanrio. Other original retail favorites that you were likely shopping just this past weekend include Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic Factory Store, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, and FYE.
Soon after opening, Alabama Grill was the place to dine and the mall offered 65 payphones to help you keep in touch. Fast forward to today, Bonefish Grill is the Saturday night go-to and payphones have been replaced by more than 50 cell phone charging stations.
As the phones evolved, so too has the shopping experience. Concord Mills recognizes how important ambiance is to visitors and strives to create an environment where they can shop, dine and play in a beautiful space, which is why the center recently underwent a massive renovation that began in 2016. Upgrades include new LED lighting and signage, fresh paint with on-trend colors, additional lounge areas, enhanced Wi-Fi, plus valet parking services. The refreshed center allows guests to enjoy the new store fronts and a modern retail mix including Coach Factory Store, Oakley Vault, kate spade new york, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, and Michael Kors.
The Dining Pavilion was one of the biggest transformations – everything from seating, tables and tile flooring was renovated, creating a bright place to dine and enjoy the more than 13 options, in addition to the other dine-in restaurants on the property.
Upgrades continue to this day, with the outside of the mall getting a facelift complete with LED lighting at the exterior entrances, upgraded directional and entry signage and new landscaping set to finish this year.
Beyond shopping, the entertainment options bring activities to all shoppers from experiential partners like Sea Life – a gorgeous indoor aquarium that brings the underwater magic right to you, The Speedpark – go-karting to let out your inner racer, and Dave & Busters – which offers arcade games, food and beverage options to gamers of any age. In addition, Concord Mills hosts regular ‘Family at Simon’ events, charitable drives and countless holiday activities.
When Concord Mills opened it was known as "Shoppertainment: the shopping and entertainment destination of the Carolinas where families can shop together, eat together and play together.” This founding principle remains the goal for Concord Mills as they strive to offer the best places to shop, dine and entertain so shoppers and guests can enjoy it for the next 20 years and beyond.