Woodfield Mall is an upscale shopping mall located in Schaumburg, Illinois at the intersection of Golf Road and Illinois Route 53. Woodfield opened on September 9, 1971 with 59 stores, growing to 189 stores with 1.9 million retail square feet by 1973, the largest mall in the United States at that time. It is currently the largest mall in the Chicago area, with over 285 stores and restaurants. Woodfield is part of a group of three malls located in Schaumburg, IL, along with Woodfield Village Green, and the Streets of Woodfield.
The mall is located about NW of O'Hare Airport and about from Downtown Chicago.
Due to its location in the suburban area northwest of Chicago, which is seen as brand-savvy and a good test market, Woodfield Mall is often the location of concept and prototype stores for established brands, like aerie and Martin + Osa from American Eagle Outfitters and Hollister Co. and Ruehl No.925 from Abercrombie & Fitch, with their fifth project, Gilly Hicks, rumored to open next.
Woodfield is named for former Sears board chairman General Robert E. Wood and Marshall Field and Company founder Marshall Field. It debuted on September 9, 1971, on of prairie land, previously occupied by farms, cows, and a village tavern. Singer Carol Lawrence, actor Vincent Price, and two marching bands entertained at the debut.
By the end of September 1971, another 28 stores and restaurants had opened and that first business year finished with 138 specialty retailers. Many of those retailers -- Johnston & Murphy, The Limited, Stride Rite, Fredericks of Hollywood, Lerner New York (now known as New York & Company or NY&C), and -- are still at Woodfield today (Waldenbooks, another store that opened alongside the mall itself, closed in 2007 as the parent company, Borders Group, operates a Borders Books & Music store nearby at Woodfield Village Green).
Originally of retail space, Woodfield today is 2.7 million feet of retail space. In 1973, Lord & Taylor opened and brought along 50 additional new retailers and a whole new wing. In celebration of its 20th anniversary in 1991, Woodfield added 23 more stores and then in 1996, Woodfield grew again with a $110 million wing. This new wing included a three-level Nordstrom, a larger replacement Lord & Taylor, and 50 new specialty stores. Of these new stores, nearly 40 debuted flagship concepts and designs, with about 27 of them the largest in their chains.
While all of this expansion continued at Woodfield, the surrounding village of Schaumburg grew as well. In 1970, the population was 19,000; in 1980, it mushroomed to 55,000; and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Schaumburg had over 75,000 people in 2000. Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson observed that, "Woodfield established a focal point for development throughout all of the northwest suburbs. Without Woodfield, we wouldn't have office towers in Itasca or corporate development in Hoffman Estates."
The GLA of the mall today is , making it the fifth largest shopping mall in the U.S. and third largest in terms of shopping area. (King of Prussia Mall in the Philadelphia suburbs and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California are larger). The mall is not only the most visited tourist destination in Chicagoland, it is the most popular tourist destination in Illinois with 27 million annual visitors. The center features nearly 300 stores and is anchored by J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's), Nordstrom and the country's largest Sears store at . Woodfield is often used as a test market for retailers; a recent example was the 2004 opening (and nationwide debut) of RUEHL 925 by youth clothier Abercrombie & Fitch. In 2006, the Marshall Field's store was rebranded Macy's.
These retailers are just some of the over 280 stores and restaurants that make-up Woodfield.
(These are just 8 out of 35 restaurant establishments within Woodfield.)
Pace Bus, the Suburban Bus service, has a complete bus center, which the ending of several routes. It is also the hub for the "Cubs Roundtripper" to Wrigley Field, "Bears Shuttle" to Soldier Field, "Six Flags Shuttle" to Six Flags Great America, and "The Flower and Garden Show" Shuttle.
Schaumburg also has a municipal Heliport (ICAO: 4H1) available for public use. It has the main helicopter pad, 1 helicopter parking space, and grassy area for extra parking.
Other state highways that go through the Woodfield area include:
The Woodfield Trolley (owned and operated by Pace) has begun service to the convention center from Woodfield, with trolleys running every 30 minutes. The trolley runs in a loop including Woodfield Mall, The Streets of Woodfield, and IKEA.
The Schaumburg Convention Center was completed in 2006. It is located across I-90 from Woodfield, next to Motorola's corporate campus. The . Convention Center has an adjoining 500 room Renaissance Hotel with meeting center including a ballroom.