Updated to correct name of second outlet.
The outlet mall battle in the Chesterfield Valley is officially underway.
Thousands were on hand this morning as Taubman Prestige Outlets opened for business - about three weeks ahead of its rival, St. Louis Premium Outlets.
It's the first St. Louis venture for Michigan-based Taubman Properties, and while the mall is introducing a number of new retailers to the area, there are some duplicates with Premium.
Still, chief operating officer Bill Taubman says his company has the edge.
"I think it's helpful to get the customer acclimated, but remember, we sit at Boone's Crossing," Taubman said. "Eighty-five percent of the customers have to drive right past us and see a half-mile of frontage. So while the jump is helpful, critically, long-term, it's about location."
The 310,000 square-foot mall is about 80 percent leased.
Both Taubman and Prestige are less than four miles from Chesterfield Mall. But the city's mayor, Bob Nations, says he remains optimistic that all three can survive.
"We’ve talked with some of the retail operators, and they’ve indicated they do anticipate a downturn for the short term," he said. "However, some have indicated they actually anticipate an upturn in their volume."
Nations says the new outlet malls could boost tax revenue for the city by 5 percent.
Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann