Outlet Malls are Making a Comeback – The Reimagined Outlet Center


Shopping Center Business, March 2014

The Reimagined Outlet Center

As the demand for discount retail continues to grow, the outlet industry is expanding and evolving to offer consumers a more entertaining and accessible experience.

When the first outlets were launched, developers had a simple plan: build a basic box, provide the discounts, and shoppers would be attracted, no matter where the centers were. And the consumers came, often driving long distances in search of the ultimate savings. Today, value-conscious shoppers continue to flock to the outlet space, but they are discovering a new, improved experience as developers and owners recognize the need to compete in a growing market.

“Outlet malls are making a comeback,” according to Michael Garner, president of Athena Property Management. “They are the fastest growing part of retail right now,” he says.

According to a report on outlet center and mall completion by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, while only a couple of outlet centers opened per year from 2009 through 2011, the number of new outlet centers jumped to eight in 2012 and then even higher to 11 in 2013.

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