Instead of shoppers, you’ll find people wearing hard hats and reflective vests.

The buzz of construction fills a new outlet mall, which is getting the final touches before it’s slated to open on Wednesday, May 2.

Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport is touted to be a shopping destination in the Edmonton Metropolitan area with 100 stores.

John Scott, with developer Ivanhoe Cambridge, said 77 per cent of the stores have been leased and ready for the grand opening and more deals are in the works.

“By the end of the year, we are expecting to be 95 per cent occupied, which is really phenomenal for a brand new project. It does take time in a new market, so we are very pleased with the reception,” Scott said.

The outlet features six anchor stores, including DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, F21, H&M, Nike Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet, and Marshalls (opening in summer 2018).

A complete list of the shops can be found here.

Special features for travelers 

The people behind the outlet mall are cognizant many of its shoppers have either just gotten off the plane or about to board.

With that in mind, there will be special amenities including a secured room for luggage storage, a space for people to freshen up and a parcel delivery service.

“A tourist, for example, can come in and be confident they don’t have to pack something in their luggage. They can ship it home to their door,” Jason Bos, the outlet’s general manger, explained.

“We want to make this as pleasant of an experience for the shoppers as we possibly can, and that really starts the second you’re on your way here to when you’re leaving the property.”

There will also be screens set up throughout the mall showing the latest arrival and departure times, just like you would see inside an airport.

Tourists from Asia, who may not use Visa or Mastercard, will also be able to buy gift cards from the outlet using Alipay, WeChat Pay and China UnionPay.  

Traffic congestion expected for opening weekend 

There were traffic headaches for those looking to work at the mall last month.

Bos said retailers had 1,000 jobs to fill and up to 5,000 people showed up, giving the mall a glimpse of what a busy shopping day would look like.

Scott said over the last several months, they’ve been working with Edmonton International Airport, RCMP, City of Leduc and Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation to develop a plan to manage traffic.

There will be extra signs to help people navigate, and up to 50 people outside the mall helping shoppers find parking and mitigate traffic concerns.

“We will literally have a command post that will allow us understand what is happening and respond to the volumes of traffic,” Scott explained. “It’s very important to plan ahead and do the best we can on this, and it’s very much an interactive plan. So, if we see something happening, we can adjust signage or change the direction of traffic flow.”

It’s expected to be extra busy at the airport during the grand-opening weekend, Scott reminds people to plan ahead, allowing extra time for the commute.

Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport is giving away $50 gift cards.

The first 1,000 people lined up at entrance 4 (by Old Navy Outlet) before 9:30 a.m. on May 2 will receive the gift cards.

They will also receive a voucher for a discounted Air Canada plane ticket and 40 per cent off parking at the airport.

With files from Amanda Anderson