By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Aug 24, 2001 at 4:46 AM

Over the past few years, Mayfair Mall, 2500 N. Mayfair Rd. (Hwy 100), has earned the unofficial title of Milwaukee's most popular mall. The recent additions of the General Cinema theatres and a bi-level Barnes & Noble have solidified Mayfair's reputation as the destination of choice for shoppers of all ages.

The success enabled Mayfair to make additions and improvements, new stores on the second floor and general enhancements inside and outside the structure. The new and improved Mayfair opened last week.

Almost all of the work was done on the second floor, the central portion of which was constructed a few years ago. The upper level was extended the full length of the mall. New carpeting has been installed and leather couches and chairs offer customers a break from shopping.

New stores in the mall include J. Crew, American Eagle, Delia's, Pottery Barn Kids, Aeropostale, Hollister & Co. and Zutopia. Stores opening in the near future include Steve Madden and Pacific Sunwear.

In an effort to appeal to teens and kids, the second floor is almost entirely devoted to its younger patrons. Planners placed this group of stores together in an effort to benefit from the foot traffic that tends to stay in a certain area of the mall.

"It's a trend taking place nationally," said Nancy Conley, marketing director for Mayfair. "It's easier to shop. Teens in one area. Children in one area."

Conventional wisdom shows that shoppers know exactly what they are looking for and where they can find it, and they appreciate not having to constantly walk from one end of the mall to the other. Plus, all the stores benefit from this.

"Stores like to be next to their competition," Conley added.

It seems to be working, too. Mayfair is busy any day of the week, and on evenings and especially weekends it is packed. According to Conley, business is booming and their expectations have even been exceeded.

Mayfair also boasts having exclusive stores in the Milwaukee area. They have the only Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Franklin Covey and Rockport, in addition to previously mentioned stores like Delia's, J. Crew, Hollister & Co. and Aeropostale.

In the past, it's always been assumed that you had to travel 90 minutes south to Chicago in order to find good stores and shopping, but that's no longer the case. Mayfair Mall is better than ever, and the new stores and other improvements ensure that the mall's future is bright.

The mall recently announced that it is adding a sit-down restaurant next to Barnes & Noble and is considering adding two more eateries. All three will be national chain restaurants.

To reach Mayfair's guest services desk, call (414) 771-1300.