Four new Queens Center stores as three others expand in mall

By Bill Parry

Shoppers at Queens Center will have more options this year as the retail powerhouse announced that four brand new stores will open while another three complete expansions.

Kiko Milano, a cosmetic brand from Milan, will open its first store in the United States at the mall. PUMA will also open its first retail outlet in the United States, selling a premium selection of athletic footwear as well as apparel and accessories.

“Queens Center draws 27 million shopping visits a year,” spokesman John Scaturro said. “The population density alone makes Queens very attractive, so many stores are making commitments now.”

Other newcomers include U.S. Polo Association, with clothing for men, women and children, and Invicta Watches will introduce its Swiss watches to Queens shoppers.

House of Hoops will expand into the existing Foot Locker and will open a space that is more than 7,300 square feet, while PacSun will expand to more than 5,500 square feet for its California-inspired lifestyle clothing for men and women.

Journeys shoe store will also expand.

“Queens Center always attracts the finest names in the retail industry,” Scaturro said. “We focus on bringing new retail experiences to our shoppers and these exciting new stores represent the latest and greatest these top brands have to offer.”

The 1-million-square-foot Queens Center is the borough’s only regional mall anchored by Macy’s, H&M, JCPenney and more than 200 specialty retailers and food operations.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 job seekers turned out for an annual jobs fair at the mall’s Food Court last Thursday. This year’s event was sponsored by state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), who reported that 16 applicants were hired on the spot.

“We were able to help some people still struggling to make ends meet on the heels of the Great Recession,” Peralta said. “From past experience, I expect that a number of others will also end up getting offers in the near future as a result of the interviews they scheduled and contacts they made at the job fair.”

More than 40 potential employers, including representatives from the Coca-Cola Co., Time Warner Cable and the United Parcel Service, conducted over 900 interviews.

The state Department of Labor and several nonprofits were on hand to provide career counseling as well as résumé writing and interview preparation advice.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.