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Posted on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Michael Kors and 4 other luxury brand stores to join Briarwood Mall in 2013

By Angela Smith

Briarwood Mall is negotiating with five new tenants for upscale retail spaces in the shopping mall, with stores set to open in the spring and summer of 2013.


Vera Bradley announces its spring arrival at Briarwood Mall.

photo via Briarwood Facebook account.

Vera Bradley has begun construction, and will be located across from Kay Jewelers, near Sears.

The 2,991 square-foot space was previously Vanity, and will be opening as Vera Bradley in the spring.

The Vera Bradley brand has become a staple for gift shops and an abundant selection can already be found at stores like Von Maur and Hallmark. The brand's website describes its focus as stylish quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories that combine smart product designs with distinctive and colorful fabrics and trims.

Michael Kors will also be opening business in Ann Arbor this spring.

The luxury lifestyle brand has three other Michigan locations: in Twelve Oaks, The Somerset Collection and the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.

The Briarwood store will be 2,147 square feet, and will open in the spring. The Michael Kors brand is a favorite amongst celebrities and stylists, including first lady Michelle Obama.

Meanwhile, Soma Intimates, a boutique that offers an exclusive collection of women’s lingerie, will open its first Ann Arbor location in spring 2013. The Briarwood Mall retail shop will be 1,967 square feet.

Soma Intimates offers a range of boutique lingerie, from luxury to comfortable styles. The brand has over 190 stores, and this will be its third in Michigan.

The U.K.-based brand Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics will be coming to Ann Arbor in June of 2013.

Lush offers an array of "bath bombs" and other scented cosmetics for skin, hair, bath and body. All products in the line are made of fresh organic fruits, vegetables and essential oils. The store in Briarwood will be 765 square feet. Other local Lush stores are in Somerset Collection, Twelve Oaks and Partridge Creek Mall in Clinton Township.

Finally, Yankee Candle will open in July 2013.

With over 150 unique scents, Yankee Candle claims to be the largest American manufacturer of scented candles. The Briarwood store will occupy 981 square feet. The Yankee Candle website lists eight other authorized retailers in the Ann Arbor area.

Denise Murray, the mall's director of marketing and business development, called the upscale new shops exciting additions for the first part of 2013.

"(It) is going to be a very exciting year for Briarwood Mall," she said. "Many of the visions that we have been developing for years are coming together, and the retail mix that will be unfolding will certainly add to the shopping experience that is available in Ann Arbor."

Briarwood is Ann Arbor's largest shopping center at 1.1 million square feet, and also Ann Arbor’s largest taxpayer, with a taxable value reported at $38.7 million in 2012’s first quarter.



Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

does it matter?not to me.haven't been to Briarwood in 3-4 years.have no plans to go back anytime soon.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

I am surprised, happily surprised, that any retailers would like ot come to is so old and outdated. Saying Michelle Obama likes a store is the same as writing a bad review....she does not have an ounce of taste!!!!!! Get some sleeves on your is winter!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 4:06 a.m.

It's a shame that the Briarwood Mall has fallen into such disrepair. While shopping there at Christmas, the lighting in an entire section of the parking lot near JC Penney was not working for more than a few nights. This made it feel unsafe, especially since the stores' had extended evening hours. The roadway encircling the mall is a bumpy ride filled with pot holes and the brown metal exterior of Macy's needs a new paint job. I'm surprised these upscale tenants would want to locate to a mall with such a shabby outside appearance.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

As a visitor to Briarwood mall from Fenton several weeks ago, I found this mall to be a wonderful place to shop. The choices around where I live are limited unless I go to 12 Oaks (yes!) or Genesee Valley (ugh!) I see many complaint comments on here and a desire for a food court. Food courts are, for the most part, dirty and putting one in this mall would not be a good idea. The additions sound wonderful. Most malls are geared toward woman and that probably won't change much anyway. Keep up the good work Briarwood!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

yeah Zelda, keep up the good work such as closing down the dollar movies and putting in yet another sporting goods place, Lord knows that the 3 existing sporting goods places weren't nearly enough! good work nothin'!


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 8:11 a.m.

There is absolutely nothing of interest in Briarwood for me. I loved way back when we they had Suncost (movies galore!) and that wonderful toy/earth store that used to be across from what is now Cinnabon. The Discovery store. theater. Now it's just expensive crap that you can get anywhere. We don't need to be in league with rodeo drive.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

grim, completely agree, B'wood can sink into the earth for all I care. when you get right down to it there is NOT ONE DARNED THING for sale there that I can't get at a much better price somewhere else!


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 5:41 a.m.

How about getting rid of those kiosks, with vendors that jump out and practically attack shoppers walking by. WAY too aggressive.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 5:39 a.m.

It's going to take more than these stores to improve Briarwood Mall, a tired, fading and run down shopping mall. Compared to other similarly sized malls around the country, Briarwood has seen better days.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Finlly Yankee Candle is coming!! That is a very popular place and can't believe they are just NOW bringing them in! I was told their used to be one in this mall - if so where was it and how long ago was it there?


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

You can buy locally produced candles at the Farmer's Market...


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

But the store will have the full range of candles and accessories. I'm looking forward to shopping there.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 5:39 a.m.

You can get Yankee candles at Meijer, and discounted at Home Goods.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

Finally! Some stores carrying upscale merchandise. Maybe this will spruce up the place. I'll continue shopping at Macy's, though. These stores are a little out of my league.

say it plain

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

I started to get excited about LUSH, but then checked their website and saw that their most popular body lotion, for instance, lists parabens and other chemicals as ingredients, too bad. I hate it when companies say things like oh, we make our gear from organic fruits and such, and then add nasty preservatives anyhow...

say it plain

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

well, @grimmk, of course there are "chemicals", as everything is made of chemicals, including us, right? The issue is the *kind* of chemicals...are they organic or made in a lab, are they shown to be toxic or not. I have looked at the ingredients in my soaps and shampoos and such, and I've chosen products accordingly, avoiding the ones with toxins (which include most if not absolutely all of the products one buys at the regular ol' stores...they have toxins galore, including substances that other countries have banned) when possible. So, yeah, there are companies out there with products that are much cleaner and purer, and I'd love to see more of these succeed. I don't like it when a company claims to be something it isn't, and if consumers care about these things, we're further down the road to stopping the unnecessary degradation of our bodies and our environment.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

This is news to you how? All bath/beauty products, even the most basics of soap, have chemicals in them. Have you looked to see what is in your deodorant? Shampoo?

say it plain

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 4:51 a.m.

yikes, @Amanda, I hadn't even thought of that as a possible LUSH hazard lol, but of course that's one way their potions could be bad, sorry to hear it!

Amanda Erickson

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:48 a.m.

I tried LUSH when it first came out. I was really excited to try their stuff, so I bought a ton of their soaps and bath bombs...and nearly killed myself slipping in the bathtub from the thick residue left behind in the tub! :( Maybe they have changed their formulas since then, but I am not a fan.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Vera Bradley used to be located in Ohio where all of their products were made. Several years ago they moved all of their operations to China, dumping their workers and the town they were located in. Fortunately another company who also makes the same items as Vera Bradley moved in and took over the facility and hired back the workers. I have not puchased a Vera Bradley product since they decided cheap labor was more important than supporting the workers who helped make them a successful company.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

Thanks for the background information about Vera Bradley outsourcing to China. I got a purse for my birthday from there, and then bought another purse a short time after. To see that made in china label was disheartening. I'm going to check out Stephanie Dawn now.

Basic Bob

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Stephanie Dawn - made in Van Wert, OH.

David Paris

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Do you know the name of the company of which you speak, the one that moved into VB's old plant? I'm always interested in locally made stuff- as I try to put China out of business.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Great news for Briarwood! These are all stores I have shopped at in different malls!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

LUSH! YEA! I will have a reason to go to Briarwood now!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Good news, but until they prohibit the spraying of cologne into the hallways from vendors and stores, many of us can't tolerate that place.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 8:03 a.m.

I stare them down and flat out tell them I will scream assault if they try. I have very bad asthma and that stench could set it off. Haven't been back to the mall in a while. Sad to see that that is still going on.

Dog Guy

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

These are five more reasons for guys to avoid that Lexus-choked parking lot and sneak into Sears' auto and tools by the back door.

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.


say it plain

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

Ooh, fascinating! Love the idea of obscenely expensive yoga pants from Atlas Shrugged! I looked to their own website for info on what 100 dollars buys you in a yoga pant, and I guess I somehow hit on some "hold-outs" to the conversion lol. There were many many complaints about the specially named (is it specially created as well? Or just Atlas Shrugged marketing?!) fabric they use in some line or other, and how it attracts lint and dirt like nothing else. Which is actually very funny. Maybe they sell $25 dollar lululemon lint rollers? Or perhaps market the stickiness as useful for poses!


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Put on your $98 Lululemon yoga pants, sit down to a big ol' Domino's pizza, and remain calm as your brainpower dribbles slowly out your ears.

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

The founder is an Ayn Rand fan and the company takes its values from Atlas Shrugged...yikes


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

It would be good if all national chains could be contained within Briarwood. At least Ann Arbor could minimize the appearance that it was turning into Everycity, USA.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Many of my friends and I would love to have a store...any store...that has stylish clothes for the 55+ women. We are tired of tops that look like maternity clothes and dresses a foot above the knees! Just saying.....


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

The BEST place to find stylish clothes for the 55+ woman is at Arborland at DRESS BARN! Great Fashions and 1/2 the price for same quality or better quality than Coldwater Crk! Easier parking too!!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

Coldwater Creek? ...and is there still a Chico's at Briarwood?


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Nice try, but my last reason to step foot in B'wood died a quick death when you closed down the dollar movies. Too little, too late!


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

As a former movie theater manager I can tell you that a discount movie theater can only make if it has discount rent. It sounds like Briarwood isn't going in that direction and wouldn't want that to happen. Maybe there could be one in Ypsilanti on or near Washtenaw.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 8:01 a.m.

We desperately need a cheap movie theater! Why can't one stay open?? It's insane to cost $10 per ticket!!

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.


Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

What? Briarwood mall is still in business? Haven't been there in years.

Holy Cow

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

My daughter would love to see a Delia's and a Charlotte Russe move in. We drive to Twelve Oaks for these stores, but would be happy if I didn't have to make this drive. A food court would also be great!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Love all that is coming! Also love the new BRIGHTON store!! We be extremely happy if they opened a KIRKLANDS store. ;)


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

^ Haha! Typo...*would be extremely happy. Not WE be ;)


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Briarwood should be thinking of putting in a Food Court before they keep adding all these stores!

say it plain

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Why do they need a 'court'? There are already dining and walk-about food options. Lord, do Americans really need to eat quite so constantly?! There is a California Pizza Kitchen, a Chipotle Grill, an Olga's Kitchen, a Cinnabon, a PinkBerry, two Pretzel places are there?! There is food at Macy's, there is a sushi shop, a chinese place, a Starbucks or two, a cookie place, a smoothie type shop, am I forgetting stuff?! Within a couple block radius of the mall are another dozen eateries as well.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Briarwood needs more than these four new stores to infuse it with new life. It"s a very boring mall w/o decent places to eat. I prefer to drive 30 miles to Twelve Oaks or Franklin Park mall in Toledo when I need to do major shopping.

Amanda Erickson

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

With the exception of Michael Kors, I would hardly call this line up "luxury." I am very happy for Briarwood Mall with the addition of new stores...I just find the article title misleading. Looks like I will still be making the drive to The Somerset Collection for "luxury" stores (if only to window shop). I would be really happy if Briarwood would add some decent mid-range stores... Lululemon anyone?


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

that's great if they make your behind fabulous...but are yoga pants considered business [really] casual? Formal ones are

Amanda Erickson

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

I would consider Lululemon "mid range" next to an item from Chanel or Gucci (which would be considered high end or luxury.) And For those skeptics...please go try on a pair of Lululemon yoga/running pants and take a look at your derrière in the too will find yourself running to the cash register $98 in hand. Just sayin... :)

say it plain

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

Tell us what 98$ does for a girl in a yoga pant, please :-) I don't have a problem with people who can afford it spending top dollar, but the idea of branding being important to yoga pants is rather frightening as an idea. I'd love to know, ignorant of Lululemon as I am, what extra-cool fabrics or design features get added for the extra over old navy or Champion brand from Target!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

Amanda, if paying 92 dollars at Lululemon for a pair of yoga pants is "mid-range," well, I wish I had your job :)

Angela Smith

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

There is talk of Lululemon:


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

The rumor is that Lululemon is opeining at Arbor Hills Crossing.

AAPS Student

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

I love Vera Bradley! This is amazing news!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Link to Lush does not work. I like the idea of another choice for cosmetics that are not poison.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

I will check it out Angela. Thanks. I like Origens at Macy's too. They aren't perfect, but not bad. Looks like we have some readers that are poison fans. Minus 2 for me. Ha! Go figure.

say it plain

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

But, exploring their product lines further, they do seem to have some stuff without parabens, and they also seem to have a line of cosmetics that look pretty clean for make-up, so perhaps it will be a nice addition after all. I just don't get why any line of products advertising 'organic' and natural and all would add artificial colors and parabens to any of their signature products.

say it plain

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

I wouldn't get too excited about the lack of poison...just checking out the links show that even their *foot cream* has parabens and artificial colors and fragrances, so I wouldn't imagine their cosmetics are too clean. It's easy these days to find relatively clean lotions and creams, and they don't even carry that! What a disappointment...

Angela Smith

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

I reattached the link. Another Briarwood opening that might be of interest for you:


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

I suppose with the possible exception of Yankee Candle (whose link within the article currently is broken), all of these new additions are stores whose inventory appears to cater to women. And it is my guess that scented candles are more often bought by women than men, though I could be wrong.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:32 a.m.

@HeimerBoodle, I don't recall if I had seen pictures of the candles (such as those in your link) but I did read the names and descriptions of the man-candles ("mandles"), as I referenced in my reply from yesterday to my root comment (i.e., the reply 2 above yours). The pictures are no more persuasive to me than the descriptions were that in making me think they would be a popular item with men.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

clearly you have not seen these lovely selections from Yankee Candle: I believe they actually call them "Mandles".


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

What stores do you recommend to appeal to men? A BW3? Maybe a Hooters? Micheal Kors has things for phallic-Americans. Quite frankly, I see Soma Intimates as a place where men will be spending large amounts of money during Xmas, Valentines/Sweetest Day and anniversaries. I will also point out Yankee Candle will also appeal to gift givers as well.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

Thanks, Angela. The home page for Michael Kors is definitely gynecocentric, but from your link they do appear to have a fair range of clothes for men. In my opinion, their home page ought to acknowledge that in some way. And the descriptions of the scented candles geared toward men is funny. I rather doubt very men would find such "fragrances" appealing but, again, I could be wrong. As for me, I stopped using scented candles decades ago after I became concerned about indoor pollution and what adverse health effects emissions from burning candles might have on one's lungs and liver. For example, see for a recent study showing the emissions from candles of chemicals I would not want to be breathing, such as aldehydes, benzenes, and other known toxins.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Out of curiosity, what stores would you like to see that appeal to men? I think malls, in general, cater to women.

Angela Smith

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

That link has now been reconnected. You might also be interested in this one, telling of the brand's attempt to attract male shoppers: Also, Michael Kors strikes me as a great brand for men:


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Sorry, meant to up vote, not down vote. Wish the commenting system would let you fix that. Without trying to sound too sexist, I do wish that Briarwood had more stores aimed at men.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:20 a.m.

So excited for LUSH!


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

I love Vera Bradley. Will be interesting to see if they make it.

Sarah MacDonald

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Of course they will!!! I have been buying Vera Bradley since 2000. I am one of the original younger generation to have this wonderful brand:)

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

Yes! Good news for Briarwood.