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Posted on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Best Buy Mobile, Francesca's Collections stores to open at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs

Two new retailers recently signed leases to join Briarwood Mall’s collection of stores: women’s boutique Francesca’s Collections and Best Buy Mobile.


This photo shows a Best Buy Mobile store in Minnesota.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user DavidErickson

Both stores plan to open by mid-summer in the in the mall - which is located at the intersection of South State Street and Eisenhower Parkway.

Houston-based Francesca’s Collections signed a lease for a 947-square-foot space in the Von Maur wing of Briarwood. The boutique sells women’s clothing, jewelry, handbags, accessories and gifts.

After opening its first location in 1999, the boutique now has locations in 41 different states, according to its website. There are currently five locations in Michigan: Clinton Township, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Novi and Rochester.

Clary Groen, Francesca’s vice president of real estate and construction, called Ann Arbor a “dynamic market” and said the company is excited to open in the Briarwood location.

In addition to Francesca’s, a Best Buy Mobile store signed a lease to open a 1,456-square-foot store in the JCPenney wing of the mall in the former Trade Secret space, which closed in October after the chain’s bankruptcy filing.

Minnesota-based Best Buy launched the mobile store concept in 2007 and now has about 260 locations nationwide. The mobile stores are much smaller than the company’s big-box stores and act as a full-service wireless retailer, carrying the same mobile products as the larger stores.

Francesca’s Collections plans to open in July and Best Buy Mobile hopes to be open by June, according to a release.

Other more recent additions to Briarwood: Ann Taylor LOFT opened, White House Black Market took over the former BabyGap location and Pinkberry frozen yogurt shop opened its first Michigan location in fall 2011.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

Those weren't the stores I was expecting, or hoping for, but I am always glad to see some new stores opening in the Ann Arbor area.