Great news for American Girl fans: the wait is almost over. American Girl’s 16th store will be opening at the Stanford Shopping Center on Saturday, Nov. 16! The two-level, 15,000 square-foot retail site will be the second in California (Los Angeles being the other location). Little girls and their parents will be able to shop for their favorite American Girl products, enjoy lunch or dinner at the store’s Bistro, visit the Doll Hair Salon, plus celebrate birthdays or other special events right inside the store.
I think I might be more excited about the opening than my 12 year-old daughter. I live five minutes away from the Stanford Shopping Center, and I’ve been stalking the mall for signs of American Girl construction ever since the news first came out in February. For the first three or four months, I couldn’t tell what was happening; there were several construction projects going on, and it was impossible to tell which one would ultimately turn out to be the American Girl store. In mid-July, a sign reading, “American Girl: Coming Soon” finally came up around the construction barriers next to Pottery Barn, and since then I’ve watched the site grow from a bunch of steel beams into the familiar red-and-white American Girl storefront. With just over three weeks to go, the construction barriers are coming down and the outside looks good to go. Storefront windows are still boarded up, but I’m hoping we’ll get to see some window displays in the next week or two. Reservations are already being accepted for the Bistro through mid-January 2014.
The buzz around the store opening has reached fever pitch, but American Girl is making it worth the wait. They have planned a variety of activities on opening weekend, including:
- A free gift for all girls in attendance on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17.
- Free craft activities in the mall on Saturday and Sunday.
- Live entertainment for guests waiting in line and in the mall, including face painters and balloon artists.
- Prize drawings for American Girl’s 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige (valued at $110) on 11/16 and 11/17.
- Purchase with Purchase Promotion – Get the exclusive Breakfast in Bed Set for $16 with a purchase of $50 or more. Available starting on Nov. 13, 2013 through Dec. 15, 2013 or while supplies last.
- American Girl has also designated Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford as its grand opening benefit partner. American Girl is providing funding to the hospital for various children’s programs.
Based on past American Girl store openings, expect long lines and big crowds on opening weekend. Fortunately, American Girl has spared me the necessity of pitching a tent outside their front door on Friday night; overnight camping will not be permitted, and people will not be allowed to line up until two hours before opening. Based on other recent store openings, it is likely that tickets will be issued to those in line to make sure everyone gets a chance to enter the store — but the exact details of the ticketing process haven’t been released yet.
Store hours on opening weekend are 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Nov. 16, and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Nov. 17. Be prepared to fight a mad rush to line up at 7 a.m. on Saturday… and be prepared to see me fight my way to the front!