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Posted on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

LOFT will become second Ann Taylor store in Ann Arbor's Briarwood Mall

By Angela Smith

Ann Taylor plans 46 new store openings in the U.S. this year, including a new LOFT store in Ann Arbor's Briarwood Mall.

Briarwood Mall has been home to Ann Taylor for some time, but now Ann Taylor LOFT will join the mall's store lineup. Mall Director of Marketing Denise Murray said LOFT will occupy 4,857 square feet of space in the JCPenney corridor of the mall.

Though store names will not be affected, last week the company also announced a name change: It's now Ann Inc.

According to the CBS Interactive Business Network:

“Ann’s CEO Kay Krill says it’s more about the company’s multi-channel strategy that includes downsizing existing Ann Taylors and opening smaller, boutique-style new ones, pushing to grow LOFT and Outlets as well as enhance e-commerce and inventory management systems.”

The company's stores are performing very well nationwide, as reflected in the company's 52-week high stock price reported last week.

LOFT differentiates from the Ann Taylor brand by offering a more casual and layered style. According to Wikipedia:

LOFT, originally Ann Taylor LOFT, was established in 1996 as an extension of the original Ann Taylor brand, offers more relaxed fashions for work and home, in the "upper moderate" priced category, offering style and value to customers. The selection provided at Loft initially was a more casual replica to that of the regular Ann Taylor, however has developed into its own brand, and now carries a unique style to cater to a new and younger crowd.

The Briarwood location is now hiring store managers and sales associates. Targeted opening date has been set as June 28.

There are 11 LOFT stores operating in Michigan, including locations at Green Oak Village Place near Brighton and Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.

Angela Smith is a frelance retail writer for Contact her at


Angela Smith

Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 6 p.m.

Story is now updated to fix a typo and to include a projected opening date.


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Disappointed. I can't wear Ann Taylor clothes. They seem to be made for tall, thin women. Would like to see more "adult" women stores. Briarwood seems to be targeting teen to 20-somethings who are a size 2 or less.


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

Correction needed: "Though store names [will] not be affected,......


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Ann Taylor needs to stock clothes that are NOT dry-clean only! 99% of their clothes aren't washable, offer little in the way of natural fibers, and are expensive for what you get (barring sales, which are usually a great deal...) Then again, my complaints are typical of any chain women's clothing retailer: overpriced garbage from China.