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A sign indicating that a new store is coming soon to Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The roster of retailers coming to Tysons Corner Center continues to grow.

A fast-casual Turkish restaurant that specializes in chicken, fashion designer Kate Spade and a fitness clothing brand are all slated to open locations in the mall at 1961 Chain Bridge Road later this year, according to a press release.

Gagawa, the restaurant, started life in 2012 and has since opened more than 275 restaurants in Turkey, where its name Tavuk Dünyası translates to “World of Chicken,” per its website. The company adopted Gagawa as its global branding and began expanding outside Turkey around 2021, adding locations in Cyprus and Madrid, Spain.

Tysons Corner Center will be Gagawa’s first location in the U.S. It will be located on the mall’s first floor across from California Pizza Kitchen, replacing the Panera Bread that closed in late 2022.

Inspired by cuisines around the world, Gagawa marinates its chicken for 12 to 14 hours and serves it with pasta or rice and a Mediterranean salad. The menu also includes red meat fillets and a variety of starters, such as hummus and feta cheese and olives.

“We are very excited to open our first restaurant in the U.S. in Tysons Center,” Gagawa Chairman Ahmet Faralyalı said. “Our mission is to provide everyone with the opportunity to enjoy a high quality, delicious, affordable meal in an environment where one can feel appreciated. Our local consumer research shows that both our concept and product are very much desired by consumers, and we thrilled to unveil a new, unique experience soon.”

The restaurant will be preceded by Kate Spade New York, which is expected to open on Tysons Corner Center’s second floor near Nordstrom this summer. Launched in 1993, the women’s fashion store sells seasonal collections of handbags, ready-to-wear, jewelry, footwear, gifts home décor and more.

Kate Spade can currently be found in Tysons Galleria at 2001 International Drive, Suite 1430. An employee confirmed to FFXnow that the outlet is relocating from the smaller mall, where it will close sometime in June.

“When customers walk into the store, we want them to feel that they are walking into a uniquely Kate Spade world,” Kate Spade New York CEO and Brand President Liz Fraser said. “…Designed to evoke the feeling of a great escape, this newly designed retail location at Tysons Corner Center will offer both comfort and possibility, inviting customers to feel instantly transported, while still feeling right at home.”

The final newly announced tenant is Vuori, a fitness, surf and yoga apparel store based in Encinitas, California.

Founded in 2015 by Joe Kudla, whom it describes as “an active yogi and surfer,” the company has stores in almost 50 cities around the world, including in Georgetown and Bethesda. Made with an emphasis on sustainability, its clothes can also be found at other retailers, such as Potomac River Running and CorePower Yoga.

Vuori is scheduled to open on Tysons Corner Center’s second floor near Macy’s in the third quarter of 2024.

“Tysons Corner Center is proud to offer our customers an expanded mix of sustainable focused brands like Vuori, who share our commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility,” said Jesse Benites, director of property management for Macerich, the mall’s owner and developer.

The mall has already welcomed a few new retailers this year, including the shoe store Rothy’s, the Pakistani clothing store Khaadi and the Indian restaurant Dhoom. Still in the works are fashion retailers Primark and Mango and Level99, a 40,000-square-foot playground for adults that’s coming in 2025.

In addition, the chain restaurants Maggiano’s and Cheesecake Factory will join Kate Spade in making the jump from Tysons Galleria. Maggiano’s is expected to move this summer, while the Cheesecake Factory is on track to follow in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Freshii is among the retailers that recently opened at Dulles International Airport (courtesy MWAA)

The retail and restaurant mix in Dulles International Airport is getting a shake-up.

At a board of directors meeting today (Wednesday), the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority unveiled more than a dozen new concessions planned at Dulles and Reagan National Airport.

“Having a mix of local and national brands at our airports represents added value for passengers,” said Jaimini Erskine, Airports Authority vice president for marketing and concessions. “We continue to seek out new brands that showcase the Washington region experience.”

Though it’s not mentioned in MWAA’s announcement, the incoming eateries include the smoothie bowl and juice shop South Block, which is expected to open in Dulles Airport’s Concourse D, founder and CEO Amir Mostafavi confirmed to FFXnow.

South Block’s plan for an airport location was first reported by The Burn.

Mostafavi says the shop is on track to open in the late summer or early fall, becoming the company’s 18th location in the D.C. area. The business has other locations slated for Chantilly and West Springfield.

Dulles also has several new retail shops on the horizon, MWAA announced:

  • Plum Market — Market with all natural, organic, local, and specialty items.
  • Brighton –– Handcrafted accessories, jewelry, and leather goods designed by talented artists and artisans.
  • The Goods @ IAD — Store combines an array of travel essentials and check-out with convenience of technology.
  • IAD Express — Last-minute travel essentials.
  • Capital Supply Co. — One-stop-shop travel essential needs.
  • Starbucks — New location of the national coffeehouse chain.
  • Washington Essentials (Pre-Security) — An array of necessities for travelers on the go.
  • Relay — Travel essentials featuring gourmet snacks, health and beauty, gifts, books and apparel.

According to MWAA, these concessions will join recently opened newcomers to Dulles, including the bookstore Ink by Hudson, the health food restaurant Freshii, Potbelly, a Hudson news and gifts shop, Brookstone, and Market 1962, a grab-and-go market named after the year that the airport opened.

Some previously announced retailers, including Union Kitchen and Rappahannock Oyster Company, are also still in the works.

Over in Arlington, Reagan National Airport is set to get a new Lego store. The store will “showcase Lego activity sets, bricks and licensed gifts,” the Washington Business Journal reported earlier this week.

The smaller airport is also adding a Starbucks, the restaurants Mi Vida and Nalley Fresh, a location of the D.C.-based bookstore Solid State Books and others.

Work on all of the newly announced concessions will begin this year.

“These food, beverage and retail brands represent the latest awards of a multi-year program to redevelop more than 80 concessions at both airports,” MWAA said in a news release.

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The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is set to return to Tysons Corner Center (via Tysons Corner Center)

Spring has officially arrived, and in Tysons, that means the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is on its way.

The popular mobile shop will pull into Tysons Corner Center this Saturday (March 23), setting up on the Plaza near Shake Shack from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Fans of Hello Kitty can look forward to edible goodies and limited-edition merch and best-selling items like Hello Kitty Cafe Plush Toys and giant Hello Kitty Cafe chef cookies,” the mall said on the event page.

Launched by Sanrio in October 2014, the Hello Kitty Cafe Trucks tour dozens of cities around the U.S. every year. Tysons Corner Center has become a regular stop, usually getting a visit in March.

According to Sanrio’s website, this year’s food and drink menu includes macaron, cookie and madeleine sets, along with a “giant chef cookie.” The truck’s merchandise collection will include:

  • Treats & sprinkles glass mug
  • Ringer tee
  • Hoodie
  • Cup plush
  • Sprinkle mug
  • Truck lunchbox
  • Stainless steel thermal bottles (18 or 32 ounces)
  • 2-piece enamel pin set
  • Rainbow canvas tote
  • Charm keychain

As noted on the mall’s event page, the truck doesn’t accept cash, limiting payments to credit and debit cards.

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The winter gift-giving season has come to a close, but a new retail incubator store in Fairfax City will encourage the community to shop local year-round.

Set for a grand opening at 10 a.m. this Saturday (Dec. 30), Wander In will host more than two dozen painters, candle-makers and other artisans in a shared retail space at 3950 University Drive, Suite 211 in Old Town Plaza.

The program aims to give “prime retail space” to small and emerging businesses that are either based in the city or might consider opening a permanent storefront there, promising a relatively low start-up cost and some provided training.

“With Wander In, our goal is to enhance the shopping experience through exciting special events and collaborative business initiatives,” said Tess Rollins, executive director of the Old Town Fairfax Business Association (OTFBA), which developed the idea with the Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED) office. “This resonates with both our cherished residents and valued visitors.”

At 1,974 square feet in size, including classroom, office and storage space, Wander In will accommodate over 30 vendors, including:

  • Paris Love Jewelry offers a diverse selection of handcrafted and designed jewelry encompassing a blend of eclectic vintage and modern styles.
  • White Dove Candle LLC presents a curated selection of premium candles, artistically designed to infuse your space with serenity and sophistication.
  • Mary Bockenek Art features thumbnail-sized landscapes, mini abstracts, and three-dimensional heart art, all crafted with joy to add a vibrant pop of color wherever they find a home.
  • Toute-Petite, translating to ‘attention to detail’ in French, embodies a commitment to meticulously crafted artwork, ensuring each piece is thoughtful. The brand offers a collection of greeting cards and small gifts appropriate for any occasion.

Each vendor is expected to stay at Wander In for terms of three, six, nine or 12 months. According to the FCED, vendors pay a $200 per month, along with a 10% consignment on products sold, and artists get 60% of the consignment fee.

In addition to getting to sell their wares, the vendors will host workshops, participate in community events, and learn marketing and other business skills from the Mason Small Business Development Center, which partnered with FCED, the business association and property owner Kimco Realty on the initiative.

With many of the participating businesses primarily run out of homes or at farmers’ markets, the store will enhance their visibility in the community, while also providing a new shopping option to customers, according to Fairfax City Mayor Catherine Read.

“This will offer residents and visitors a fun browsing experience,” Read said, noting that Old Town Plaza is served by a free parking lot. “This is a great resource for those unique items we all look for at festivals and fairs, only now we can find them all year round.”

This weekend’s grand opening event will include refreshments and “limited giveaways” for customers. After that, Wander In will be open on Tuesdays through Sundays.

There will be regular workshops, classes, and events where customers can meet and even learn from the makers of the items that are being sold. One event coming in January will be a weekend pop-up, where vendors can reserve a two-day spot for $150.

“Wander In is more than a retail space; it’s a pioneering collaboration that echoes our vision for
Fairfax City,” FCED Director and CEO Christopher Bruno said. “With its innovative offerings, we anticipate not just a hub for unique, locally crafted gifts, but a redefined shopping experience that speaks to our community values. Wander In represents a significant stride in reshaping the entrepreneurial and community engagement landscape of Northern Virginia.”

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A Thanksgiving-themed sign (via Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash)

(Updated at 12:30 p.m. with Metro information) Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, bringing with it the promise (or threat, depending on your situation) of family gatherings and days off for many public services.

The Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Herndon and Vienna governments will all observe the holiday tomorrow (Thursday) by closing their offices, but schedules are more varied for Friday (Nov. 24).

Many private businesses and indoor shopping centers will also close for Thanksgiving, though most will reopen for Black Friday, because there’s nothing like a day of unabashed consumerism to follow a day of gratitude for what we have.

Shopping Malls

Tysons Corner Center, the D.C. area’s biggest shopping mall, will close tomorrow, but shoppers can get an early start on Black Friday, when doors will open at 6 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m. Tysons Galleria will also close for Thanksgiving and open with modified hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

Over at Fair Oaks Mall, a Thanksgiving closure will be followed by Black Friday hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Springfield Town Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday.

Trash and recycling

Fairfax County trash and recycling customers won’t experience any change in services for the holiday. However, the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will be closed on Thanksgiving and open the day after. Administrative offices will be closed through Friday.

“If you have private collection, please contact your hauler,” the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services says.

The Town of Vienna will have no waste collection on Thanksgiving, and on Friday, only trash and recycling will get picked up. The Town of Herndon isn’t collecting yard waste this week, and Thursday trash pickups will be collected on Friday instead.

Fairfax City will similarly conduct both Thursday and Friday curbside collections on Friday.

Transportation

On Thanksgiving, Metro will operate trains and buses on a Sunday schedule, with trains running from 7 a.m. to midnight. Regular service will resume Friday.

Fairfax Connector will provide Sunday service tomorrow and holiday weekday service on Friday. The bus service’s stores and customer service center will close for Thanksgiving, reopening for regular hours on Friday.

Fairfax City’s CUE bus system won’t operate on Thanksgiving, but reduced weekday service, with one bus per route, will be available Friday.

Starting at noon today, the Virginia Department of Transportation is pausing most highway work and lane closures on major roads until noon on Monday, Nov. 27. Drivers will also be able to use the I-66 Express Lanes inside the Capital Beltway (I-495) without any rush-hour tolls on Thanksgiving. Read More

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Dr. Martens has opened a store in Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

It took more than half a century, but Dr. Martens has at last planted a foot in Virginia.

The British shoe company known for its air-cushioned, lace-up boots opened its first store in the Commonwealth on Sept. 8 at Tysons Corner Center, where it sits on the first floor near Macy’s.

An inquiry from FFXnow on why Dr. Martens decided to open a store at the Tysons mall was acknowledged by the company’s press team but didn’t get a response by publication time.

However, a store employee said the opening got an enthusiastic response from locals excited that they no longer have to cross the Potomac River to Georgetown, which previously had the only Dr. Martens in the D.C. area.

Made iconic by The Who lead singer Pete Townshend, Doc Martens boots were first developed by Dr. Klaus Maertens, a doctor in the German Army during World War II who wanted an alternative to the traditional army boot that he could wear while nursing a foot injury. He partnered with a friend who worked as a mechanical engineer and began production in 1947, selling the shoes primarily to older women, according to the company’s website.

About a decade later, the boot was bought by a British company, which made some tweaks and gave it the branding “Airwair.” Initially treated as a work boot, the 1460 model — named after its launch date of April 1, 1960 — later became popular among punks and skinheads as a symbol of working-class pride and youthful defiance.

Eventually, the look was embraced by high-end designer labels, such as Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana, that produced similar, military-style boots, according to the New York Times. The 1460 boots now cost over $100.

Having a cocktail in hand might help shoppers channel that original rebellious spirit, but Dr. Martens is not among the retailers participating in Tysons Corner Center’s new public drinking program.

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Fairfax City has been working to promote its downtown retail (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax City is browsing for makers of art, crafts and other products who want to expand beyond an online shop or farmers’ market stall but aren’t quite ready to commit to a full storefront.

Those are the budding entrepreneurs that the Fairfax City Economic Development team (FCED) hopes to attract to Wander In, an upcoming retail incubator store that the city is developing with the Old Town Fairfax Business Association (OTFBA).

Announced in September, the store is expected to launch this coming winter in Old Town Plaza, replacing Sylvan Learning’s tutoring center at 3950 University Drive, Suite 211.

“Establishing Wander In as a business incubator in our historic downtown plaza is an important step in building Fairfax City’s small business retail,” Mayor Catherine Read said in the press release. “It’s a path for our local artisans from online sales and festival participation to a brick and mortar presence. Located in close proximity to a free parking garage and three very busy restaurants with outdoor dining, this multi-vendor retail offers residents and visitors a reason to wander in.”

The FCED and OTFBA concocted the idea for Wander In after the city received a grant that it wanted to use to help small businesses grow, according to Tess Rollins, the business association’s executive director.

Initially, the economic development office suggested opening a temporary pop-up store, but the local business owners on OTFBA’s board of directors were wary of supporting a new business that could compete for customers and the association’s attention.

Rollins and the FCED then pitched the board on the concept of an incubator that would not only provide retail space for up-and-coming businesses, but also educational events and resources to give them the skills needed to be viable long-term — and potentially open a permanent brick-and-mortar location in the city.

“They were more receptive of basically helping…small businesses grow because each one of them has their own establishment, whether it’s a restaurant or a retail store,” Rollins said. “So, they felt that was more in line with the mission and the core values of Old Town Fairfax Business Association.”

Applications for prospective Wander In vendors are now being accepted. Vendors must stay in the space for at least three months, be OTFBA members, obtain a city business license after the first 30 days, and pay a $200 fee each month, along with 10% of sales.

Rollins says one of the initiative’s goals is to promote businesses in Fairfax City, but it’s also open to businesses and entrepreneurs based outside city limits.

“We do want to promote other businesses who may be looking for a place in Fairfax City to see if our community is a good place for them to have an additional location,” she told FFXnow.

At the moment, there’s no limit on how many vendors will be accepted, since the capacity will depend on how much room each business needs. While most will likely sell jewelry, paintings or other artisan goods, Rollins says prepackaged food vendors could be considered.

FCED and OTFBA worked with Old Town Plaza manager Kimco Realty to secure the suite, which is in the same building as the recently opened Commonwealth Brewing Co. With the pub Earp’s Ordinary also on the way, the shopping center’s revitalization is central to the city’s Old Town Fairfax Small Area Plan, which was adopted in 2020 and seeks to make the historic downtown more active and pedestrian-friendly.

To encourage collaboration between businesses and with the larger community, Wander In will work with George Mason University’s Small Business Development Center to assist and provide training to the vendors. It will also host events both inside the store, where customers can meet and learn from the vendors, and outside.

Rollins suggests shopping days or scavenger hunts that involve other Old Town retailers as possibilities.

“I love the idea of the mix of having retail shopping with a creative experience, whether it’s ‘Meet the Maker’ or whether it’s one of their classes,” Rollins said. “I think that having the combination of the two is going to bring something different to Old Town.”

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(Updated at 2 p.m. on 11/2/2023) The “sip and stroll” trend has arrived at Tysons Corner Center.

The D.C. region’s largest mall launched a “Shopping with a Twist” initiative today (Wednesday), letting visitors 21 and older drink alcoholic beverages from participating restaurants while in stores and common areas.

Public drinking is already permitted at some other local shopping centers, including Fairfax Corner, Reston Town Center and the Mosaic District in Merrifield, but Tysons Corner Center says it’s the first indoor mall in the D.C. area to allow public cocktail consumption.

“As the #1 shopping destination in the region, Tysons Corner Center is dedicated to providing an elevated shopping experience for our customers,” said Jesse Benites, director of property management for mall owner, Macerich. “This program adds a premier amenity which is unique to indoor centers in the area. We are very pleased with the high level of participation from our restaurants and retailers, and look forward to the positive results this program will have on their businesses.”

The “Shopping with a Twist” policy will be in effect during the mall’s regular hours of 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday, though each restaurant’s hours may vary.

Cocktails will be permitted on the Plaza and in common areas of the mall, but not in the parking garages or lots. They can also be taken into retail stores marked with “C’mon in with your drink” signs.

“Beverages must be in a logo’d disposable cup provided by the restaurant where the drink was purchased,” Tysons Corner Center said in a press release. “Only alcoholic beverages purchased from participating restaurants may be taken outside the restaurant and into the shopping center. No outside alcohol is permitted.”

The participating restaurants are:

  • American Girl Bistro
  • Barrel & Bushel
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Earls Kitchen + Bar
  • Eddie V’s
  • La Sandia
  • Seasons 52
  • Shake Shack
  • TGI Fridays

The mall urges customers to “drink responsibly,” noting that Macerich and the restaurants “reserve the right to refuse service for any reason.”

There will be an official launch event for “Shopping with a Twist” next Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 5-8 p.m., starting with a reception from 5-5:30 p.m. on the Plaza.

“The first 100 shoppers to arrive will receive a gift bag and a $25 gift card from one of our participating restaurants,” the press release says. “Centerwide there will be special entertainment and all participating restaurants will be offering custom cocktails and drink specials created just for the evening.”

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The costume store Spirit Halloween has several locations in Fairfax County for its 40th anniversary season, including at Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

With Halloween less than a week away, time is running out to assemble a costume and housing decorations ghoulish enough to impress neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

Fortunately for those making last-minute preparations, the seasonal pop-up Spirit Halloween has taken possession of several vacant retail stores across Fairfax County.

That includes a return to the former Lord & Taylor store at Tysons Corner Center, which first got converted last year after previously hosting a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. Long-term plans to redevelop the building at 7950 Tysons Corner Center got approved last month by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Accessible from the Plaza, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, except for Sundays, when doors close at 7 p.m.

Other locations include:

  • Fairfax Towne Center in the former Bed Bath & Beyond (12100 Fairfax Towne Center)
  • Crossroads Center in Bailey’s Crossroads, also a former Bed Bath & Beyond (5810 Crossroads Center Way)
  • Springfield Commons in the former Party City (6721B Frontier Drive)
  • Rose Hill Plaza in a former Tuesday Morning (6140 Rose Hill Drive)
  • Village Center in Centreville, another former Tuesday Morning (5619 Stone Road)

The company’s website also lists a store as “coming soon” to the former Office Depot (3536 South Jefferson Street) at Crossroads Center in Bailey’s Crossroads. Spirit Halloween didn’t respond to FFXnow by press time when asked if that location is still coming.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Spirit Halloween announced before this season began that it would be its “biggest” one yet, with more than 1,500 locations around North America.

“We’ve seen Halloween grow from a single day of excitement into a season-long celebration, with so many enthusiasts showcasing their love for Halloween all year long,” Spirit Halloween CEO Steven Silverstein said in a press release. “…However you celebrate this season, we have everything Halloween fans need, from the classics to the hottest new trends.”

In addition to opening physical pop-up stores every fall, the business sells Halloween costumes, decor and animatronics year-round online.

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The Barbie Dreamhouse truck will stop at Tysons Corner Center on Oct. 28 (courtesy Barbie Truck Dreamhouse Living Tour)

Local shoppers looking to put the finishing touches on their Barbie Halloween costumes are in luck.

The Barbie truck is rolling back into Tysons Corner Center later this month, this time featuring a “Dreamhouse Living” theme to celebrate 60 years since the doll moved into her first residence, according to Mattel lore.

Unfortunately for all the Kens out there, the Barbie Dreamhouse truck won’t have a competing Mojo Dojo Casa House truck in tow, but the mobile shop will have plenty of exclusive clothes, mugs and other merchandise to sell when it stops at the mall’s Plaza on Oct. 28.

Inspired by “a day in [the] life of Barbie in her Dreamhouse,” per a press release, offerings will include:

  • Graphic T-shirt
  • Hoodie
  • Denim jacket
  • Baseball cap
  • Throw blanket
  • Tote
  • Embroidered patch set
  • Necklace
  • Keychain
  • Pouch set
  • Coasters
  • Glass tumbler
  • Glass mug
  • Accessories cup
  • Thermal bottle

Prices range from $12 to $75, with purchases of $40 or more netting a free gift. The truck will be parked near Shake Shack from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This will be the Barbie truck’s third time stopping in Tysons, following visits by the original “Totally Throwback” tour truck in 2020 and the Barbie Malibu truck in April 2022.

“There has always been such an amazing response from Barbie fans in the D.C. area,” Barbie Truck spokesperson Hannie Peng said.

The Dreamhouse truck launched this July at the 2023 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention in Orlando, Florida, which unfolded over four days just before Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” premiered. While the truck isn’t directly tied into that $1-billion-grossing movie, it has received such a positive response that a second truck was added for the West Coast, according to Peng.

After visiting Tysons, the East Coast truck will advance to Richmond on Nov. 4 and Virginia Beach on Nov. 11. The two trucks will continue touring the U.S. into 2024.

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