Downtown Parisian to become Carson Pirie Scott store

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Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Parisian is disappearing from the Indianapolis landscape. The store at the Fashion Mall will soon become a Nordstrom, and on Tuesday Eyewitness News learned the Parisian at Circle Centre Mall will become Carson Pirie Scott.

Parisian has been a fixture of the downtown mall since its grand opening gala in September 1995. Next month, the Parisian name will be replaced by Carson Pirie Scott, a 150-year-old department store chain with locations mostly in the Chicago area. In announcing its entrance into the Indianapolis market, its parent, Pennsylvania-based Bon-Ton Stores, says the new Carson Pirie Scott features a 15,000 square foot home store.

"When they come in, they can get everything from cosmetics to accessories, shoes, ready to wear and the home and they don't have to go anywhere else," said Mary Kerr, Carson Pirie Scott.

Bon-Ton bought the Circle Centre store from Belk Department stores in October. Its Fashion Mall store becomes the city's second Nordstrom. Carson Pirie Scott, described as a traditional department store, targets moderate to upscale shoppers.

"It's a department store real similar to Macy's. Maybe like a Famous Barr but a little more upscale than Famous Barr," said Estelle Smith, St. Louis.

For its customers, the departure of Parisian is disconcerting. "I like Parisian. They have good quality clothing and good prices," said Robert Hinkle, but he added, "But I'm looking forward to seeing what it will be. If it's going to be better, I'm always for something better."

Carson Pirie Scott executives promise the best of both chains with the Carson brand offering a greater selection of merchandise plus a home store, and a new look with the store revamped in March and finished in July.

The store will remain open during construction. However, the Parisian name is gone next month. Nordstrom replaces the Fashion Mall Parisian location, opening there in the fall of 2008.