The Great Mall of the Great Plains?:
Most Kansas Citians have heard of the Great Mall of the Great Plains, but ask most people around town if they've been there and the typical response is "not in about 7 years!". This response, and the fact that I hadn't EVER been to the Great Mall, prompted me to drive all the way to Southern Olathe to figure out just exactly what the Great Mall was, what stores were there, what was so "great" about it... and why most people I knew hadn't been in about a decade.
Great Mall Rumors:
The Great Mall is rumored to be an Outlet Mall, which both attracts, deters, and confuses most people. Nobody in Kansas City can tell you what stores are actually in the Great Mall of the Great Plains, and it's possibly for good reason. When you jump off Interstate 35 and turn into the Mall, there are signs for stores you've probably never heard of, which might send many shoppers running back to Oak Park Mall.
More than Just an Outlet Mall :
Those brave enough to park and enter the Great Mall will be pleasantly surprised by all that's hidden inside the Great Mall of the Great Plains. It's a microcosm of Brand-name outlet stores, Discount retailers, and stores that you'd find in any shopping mall. They even have a glow-in-the-dark mini golf and a pretty sweet food court.
Much to my surprise there is a Carter's Baby Outletand a Children's Place Outlet with clothes that are currently in the stores at seriously discounted prices. There is a Motherhood Maternity Outlet that looked good as well. The Nautica, Eddie Bauer and Levi's outlets have a great selection and prices. They've got a Foozles Discount Bookstore and a Lane Bryant Outlet is set to open in Summer 2006.
Among the Discount stores are good discount retailers as well. The Burlington Coat Factory is the biggest one I've ever seen. There's a Steve & Barry's University Sportswear--a discount megastore with colligate apparel..all for under $9.98! There is also a Marshall's, but not a "megastore"--not as impressive as its newer sister stores located throughout the metro. Be sure and check out Group USA--they had an awesome array of prom, formal and wedding dresses at affordable prices.
Other Stores: :
The Great Mall also has typical stores you'd expect in any mall--an Icing by Claire's, Bath and Body Works, Aeropostale and may others. Look a little closer and you'll find an FYE music retailer and a Farberware store--who knew those existed here? Check the Directory of Stores for all you'll find at the Great Mall.
Directions: The Great Mall of the Great Plains is located in Olathe, Kansas just off of I-35 and 151st Street. Take Exit 215 and you can't miss it. If you're coming from the Leavenworth area, take Highway 7 South to 151st Street.
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm. Store hours do sometimes change, be sure and check the mall hoursbefore you go.