A number of new stores and restaurants have opened at Guam’s shopping centers and malls with more on the way.

It’s a good sign of business activity and economic growth according to mall and store managers.

“The retail market is picking up a little ” said Michael Ysrael general manager of Tanota Partners which owns The Plaza. “It’s very exciting because the tourists are coming back.”

• International fashion brand Sonia Rykiel Boutique opened Oct. 7 at The Plaza after closing its location at the Tumon Sands Plaza. The boutique is owned by Rodriguez Corp. a family business with Dennis Rodriguez Jr. as general manager. The store sells a mixture of women’s ready-to-wear clothing accessories a line of cosmetics and fragrances and an infant’s line. Rykiel is a French fashion designer who’s been around for 30 years Rodriguez said adding that he’s trying to get her to come to Guam next year. The new location is 1 200 square feet 400 square feet bigger than its former location of six years. The store has one part-time and five full-time employees and Rodriguez plans to add a couple more.

Monte Mesa president and general of Guam Premier Outlets said his space is 96% full .

At Guam Premier Outlets three new stores have opened:

Anne Klein which had been on Guam before under the Bluebell Corp. is now owned by the Jones Apparel Group a Fortune 500 company. The store specializes in women’s apparel and accessories for the professional and career woman. Melinda San Nicolas store manager said the Anne Klein store at GPO set a national sales record for an opening when it opened on July 29. The store occupies 2 500 square feet and employs four full-time and two part-time staff.

New Twist Pretzel Co. is owned by Power Up Inc. which also owns the Candy Store at the GPO food court. Power Up is owned by partners Robert Conos and Todd Jakl. New Twist Pretzel opened on Sept. 30 and features gourmet hotdogs that go up to half a pound with a full range of toppings from barbecue sauce to fresh tomatoes and onions as well as freshly baked pretzels with a variety of toppings dipping sauces and stuffings. The store employs two full-time and four part-time staff and occupies 440 square feet.

Coldstone Creamery which features ice cream made fresh daily mixed with customer-selected toppings has been open at GPO since July 10.

Three new stores and a bar and grill have opened the Agana Shopping Center with another store slated to open at the beginning of November:

Gamestop which has a location at the Micronesia Mall opened its second location on Sept. 3. The game store sells used DVDs games and game systems as well as new game consoles Nintendo Gameboys PC games and action toys. The store is owned by Gamestop Inc. a Texas-based company. Joel Benitez the store manager said he employs two full-time and seven part-time staff and the store occupies 1 500 square feet.

The Pacific-Isle Trading Club Bar & Grill bases its theme on the Pacific trade era of the late 1800s and aims for the business crowd. The menu includes starters soup salads burgers sandwiches specialties and desserts. The bar is stocked with a wide selection of wines liquors beers flavored iced-teas and smoothies. PTC Bar & Grill is owned by Downtown Pacific Ventures LLC and the general manager is Sonny O’Connor. There are 23 full- and part-time employees and the bar and grill takes up 1 800 square feet.

Totally Toys opened the first week of October and sells toys for anyone from infants to adults including remote control cars educational toys board games stuffed animals basketball sets and more. Albert Cayanan is the owner and manager and his store takes up 1 100 square feet. Cayanan has four employees. “We’re getting good traffic flow ” Cayanan said of his new store. “I feel very confident because of the location — we’re the only toy store south of the ITC building and I wanted to fill up the void for the southern and central areas.” Cayanan also owns ABC Electronics which opened in June at Agana Shopping Center.

Outdoor Extreme a family business owned and managed by husband and wife Rory and Evelyn Kosaka opened Sept. 29 at ASC. The store sells military clothing women’s clothing and bikinis military accessories children’s military clothing and fishing rods and reels. The store has also added a rod repair service. There are no employees as the store is a family business Rory Kosaka said and the store occupies 560 square feet. “It’s new for me — I’m stepping into the water and I don’t know how deep it is ” Kosaka said of going into the retail business. As for combining military clothing and fishing rods Kosaka said he likes to go fishing and always wears military clothing when he fishes.

MeCasa a store that had a previous life at the Guam Premier Outlets is opening with a new focus by the first week of November. The store will sell candles and a home décor collection with aroma therapy candle holders clocks mirrors vases and gift items. The store is owned by MeCasa Corp. which is a partnership between Gabriele Salas and her daughter Dianne. The store will be 1 000 square feet and will probably have two or three employees Gabriele Salas said.

Micronesia Mall has an 88.5% occupancy. Philip M. Schrage vice president for leasing and general manager at the mall said "The interest in new concepts coming to Guam is probably greater than it’s been since 2001. Sales are up for the first eight months compared to the first eight months of 2001 prior to 9/11. Some stores are up double digits over 2001. That’s exciting."

Four stores have opened at the Micronesia Mall and one is scheduled to open soon:

Dhonson Jewelers which has been in business for 16 years in Tamuning opened its new location in the mall on Sept. 1. The store sells medium to high-end merchandise specializing in diamonds and gold and carrying silver and baby jewelry as well. The company is owned by husband and wife Don and Karen Sadhwani occupies 1 000 square feet and employs three full-time and two part-time staff. Karen Sadhwani is the company’s general manager. Don Sadhwani will open an additional general merchandise store at the mall in November.

Island Wheelez owned and managed by Frankie Tenorio sells pocket bikes — extremely small motorcycles — derived from the original pocket bikes from Japan and Europe. The engines are 49cc which Tenorio said are ideal and very safe for children that know how to ride a two-wheel bicycle. Tenorio employs family members because “I can teach them a lot of things that would take a lot of money and a lot of years in college for them to learn ” he said. The store takes up 830 square feet and opened in September in the mall.

Other new mall stores are:

Kamiseta a chain of more than 50 clothing stores from the Philippines opened early October. The store is about 1 709 square feet.

J P Xtreme another clothing store opened in September. The store is owned by City Hill Co. which is also the owner of the Guam Plaza Hotel and other JP stores. The store is about 1 950 square feet.

Crystal Reflection which features a laser machine that scans customers’ faces and engraves three-dimensional images inside crystal is scheduled to open by the end of October. The kiosk is about 350 square feet. MBJ